Heaven's Roar - Picture of Male Lion
Heaven's Roar - Picture of female lion

Definitions of Radical

Dictionary - Basic, Innate, Fundamental
Colloquial - Revolutionary, On the Edge
Personal - Raw revolutionary life with
The Lion of Judah - Jesus Christ

Heaven's Roar. Road of a radical.

The Changing Church: War and Peace!

The Church is changing direction as God leads His people directly, deals with the hirelings, and bypasses the pulpits which have usurped His Headship. This section goes from the arrival of the glorious Bride-Church – to the backlash from current structures that are shouting loudly against God’s move. Millions are living as disciples, as doers of the Word and not hearers only, outworking their faith in the streets to avoid the chains of the spectator classroom church. Researchers call it a “phenomenon”. Scripture call it the prophesied Bride – the birth of the remnant – the new breed of Melchizedek Priests who have made a home in the Holy of Holies. Many well-known prophets agree. Cindy Jacobs says political and religious spirits have created churches that withhold permission to act. Rick Joyner says there’s about to be a jail-break from the control spirits in the churches, that the crushing spiritual slavery has forged a people of greatness, and that this revolution will eclipse both the Reformation and the Great Awakenings. See Other End Times Prophecies for Words by Joyner and David Minor that show Church shakings.



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Scripture says: Behold the goodness and severity of God – God is Love – God is not mocked – God refines us like gold through fierce fiery trials then wraps us in tender arms of comfort and reveals extra layers of Himself and fills us with wonder – God gives us more than we could ever think or imagine. Derek Prince called Him ruthless, and He is. Many now call Him Lover, and He is. He is wild, fearsome, and utterly beautiful. There’s none like Him.

Free Will: God’s prime directive is free will. I believe it even trumps His love because even though He wants none to perish, people will still go to hell because despite His enormous love, He will not remove their ability to choose against Him. If God is all things good, then hell is where God isn’t. People joke about meeting their friends in hell and having a party. Yet friends and fun are good – there’ll be neither in hell – only fear and pain.

Offering Glory: Currently He is changing His Church – a move is coming that will turn His Church into His Bride in a way never before seen on earth – not even in the Book of Acts. Though it will closely resemble Acts, it will be the Latter Rain’s full harvest rather than the Former Rain’s first fruits! His Bride will shine with His glory and the world will finally see who Jesus really is. Hallelujah!

An unseen yet much researched revolution is taking place in the Church right now all over the world. He is showing people like me and millions of others around the world the same wonders. Falsehoods are being pulled down and Truths restored. The Royal Priests are seeing Jesus as the Bridegroom like never before, falling in worship and finding a deep relationship with the King of Glory, humbly following His directions as their Shepherd to outwork what He wants from them in their daily lives. He said “I will build my Church” (Mt. 16:18) and He’s doing it. No one else can do it and those involved in trying to control His Church will simply have to get out of His way, or He will remove them.

God will Oust Those in His Way: James Rutz’ classic book ‘Megashift’ shows photographs of an event in which God did just that. Tommy Tenney, well known revivalist, was guest speaker in a church and God’s presence had sovereignly invaded, taken over, and the people were lost in His glory. As time went on the pastor nudged Tenney to begin, but he refused saying whatever God was doing he was too afraid to disturb it. So the pastor took the pulpit and began to move the service along, back into line with the planned programme. Suddenly, with a thunderclap, the heavy pulpit was split down the middle from top to bottom, the pastor thrown 9 feet backwards and the 2 halves of the pulpit thrown forwards diagonally, landing about 7 feet apart. God was saying “Get out of My way!” That church still has the pulpit halves on show. The pastor was unhurt but slain in the Spirit for 2.5 hours – those who carried him to his office also then fell under God’s glory. Tenney said that initially God ran the meeting and “was liking it!” Of the interruption, he said “He gets royally riled if someone takes charge and jerks people’s attention away from Him.” .” He told Rutz “it was a slap in the face for overly tight human control of the Church” and said “God had ripped a hole in the space-time continuum to signal a basic change in how His Kingdom must work in the years ahead.” After this occurrence, every night for the next 4 weeks in that church hundreds of people were saved and/or healed – 3 from profound deafness through the prayers of a 7-year-old boy.

The new breed of God-Lovers emphasize worship. People have learned scripture, Hebrew, Greek, biblical cultures, visited the lands, and been marinated in head-knowledge since the Charismatic renewal 30 years ago. It’s been wonderful and necessary learning – but the constant message from many now is that they are learned-out, over-churched, over-taught, over-controlled via church programmes and leadership structures, etc. They are seeking and finding the Person of God for Himself. Or He is finding them. It’s impossible to meet the God of love and not melt in awe and wonder at His beauty – and this is a common thread among those who have fallen into the arms of Jesus.

A new title has been given Him – “the Lover of our souls” – because after centuries of the Church viewing God primarily as Judge, people are truly experiencing His deep love and affection for us. The result is that His people are becoming His Bride and would die for Him, whether daily or physically.

Backlash: While God leads His people to a freedom in Himself, satan is digging in his heels causing many to cling even more strongly to fleshly controls, and creating a backlash against the deep worship God’s poured into open hearts. But God is shaking those powers and removing as idols the controls that have kept His Bride from functioning as His glorious Body. 'Megashift’ (see Recommended Resources on the home page) also cites an event (with photo) which was interpreted by a prophet half a world away and which hammers home the fact that the Church has become a “2-headed monster” and that in God’s eyes her current focus on ‘leadership’ is usurping His own headship. He is judging it and changing the shape of His Church! God emphasizes free will, but the spirit of control is aligned to witchcraft, and authoritarian leaders often shout about “rebellious” people being under the influence of “Jezebel”, little realizing the problem is their own (Jesus and the apostles were also rebels – it’s why they were whipped, jailed, and executed). The spirit of control is kicking hard against the new freedom that people are finding in following God’s call on their hearts outside the church structure. But following God with each step, and worshipping Him with each breath, is what Jesus taught us to do. It’s a very private thing between God and His own, it can’t be taught from a pulpit, a programme, or a church team, and it brings the union with God which is the foundation of the Royal Priesthood.

Nevertheless, satan is at work causing many church leaders to call the new freedom heretical and the new worship “girlish” (see Scoffers and Mockers). The more macho church leaders argue that worshippers are claiming ‘Jesus as their girlfriend’ (a term used by NZ Promise Keepers – what would they think of David “panting” for Him and Paul being desperate to know Him like a lover? See Knowing Him). These macho leaders (influenced by satan’s top priority to quell increasing affection between God and His Bride and claim worship for himself), call for churches to be “de-feminized”, accuse women of keeping men out of churches despite the church having male-only leadership for 1900 years so if anyone has ‘feminized’ it, the men have (see House of Deborah). They write books about it such as ‘Why Men Hate Going To Church’ and one Seattle pastor hangs hunting trophies on the church walls in an effort to butch it up (despite the Genesis command to both men and women to care for all creation, and live in gentleness, kindness, and love). Groups have sprung up screaming out the 1980s dogma on the church submitting to the pastor, and women submitting to men (they never preach about submitting to God). This again, is satan’s message, submit to anyone but God (see Current Leadership & Submission Theology). Modern churches often have ‘policy statements’ which people have to agree to in order to become church members. The policies are based on following the pastor’s leadership which does not facilitate a person’s discipleship. We follow only God! Anything else is the ‘2-headed monster’ of idolatry. The more extreme ends of this practice result in examples such as the Destiny church’s ‘Protocols’ which, among other things, requires men to bow to the church leader and bring him gifts to prove their love. This leader (on 29 October 2009) had himself anointed ‘king’ – yes king! It’s on the basis of the Davidic covenant which according to CultWatch he became openly infatuated with in June 09. The Protocol also calls him father and his congregants his sons. Mt. 23 warns us not to call anyone father but our Father in heaven.

Dumbing Down: Leadership teams are taking on the profiles of business management, with some pastors calling themselves CEOs (if not king) and having growth strategy and marketing ‘branding’ meetings. One church referred to its congregation as RGUs – “revenue gathering units” (to the shock of my worship leader friend, who was at that meeting), another church used a non-Christian award-winning salesman to teach evangelism techniques. The CEO-style success-obsessed church has boiled the faith down to prayer-techniques, faith-techniques, healing-techniques, workshop-techniques, administration-techniques for herding the sheep, preaching techniques based on the lively and engaging Toastmasters training (Paul deliberately avoided this – 1 Cor. 1:17), mission-techniques, etc etc. Books on the ‘5-Steps-To-Answered-Prayer’ or similar fill the shop shelves. I’ve yet to see one called ‘5-Steps-To-Your-Own-Crucifixion’ – yet that is what refines us as pure gold. The ‘Way’ is not a principle or formula, but a Person! (See also, Seeking the World.)

The Call of the Wild: God is both dangerous and beautiful – worthy of wonder as He fills us with adoration by His incredible presence. What He is not – is a technique. Those focusing on spiritual techniques in the churches are little different from those focusing on spiritual techniques in new ageism or the occult. It’s a focus on intrinsic human mind-power (or darker) and whipped up human energies, eg teachings on strong faith and casting down doubts, but Jesus said we only need faith as a mustard seed – He does the rest, we don’t need to. Our faith must be in Him, not in the result (see End Times Prophecies – Scroll, 2 Faith). Focusing on results and techniques lacks His rest, love, and nature and people seeking more depth with God are simply leaving those churches. In their millions! (See George Barna’s book ‘Revolution’ – details under Recommended Resources.) He calls us to follow Him in a personal and intimate way and He says “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.” Deep calls to deep. No human can call our hearts like He can – He demands to be our only leader.

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Rom. 1:20 says God’s attributes can be clearly seen and understood because they are characterized by the creation. On reading this one day I sensed something like a piece of Him – a blip – that flooded into nothingness and became, eg a panda or a crocodile. Later I found this described in Ps. 104:30 (“you send forth your Spirit, they are created”). This is what Romans tells us – that we can learn about the character of God from His creation. He can be as shy as a panda (scripture describes His disdain for those so brazen they have forgotten how to blush (Jer. 6:15, 8:12) and as ruthless as a crocodile. He shows His goodness and severity (Rom. 11:22) to teach us who He is. An amazing thing about the ruthlessness of God and crocodiles is that they still love. I saw a news item on a man who’d saved a crocodile from a bullet wound, fed it, cared for it, even slept with it, and now they’re best buds, playing together in the water. Crocs are said to have a most primitive brain, little more than a brainstem, yet they can appreciate, be grateful, and love.

When Paul wrote Romans his audience believed in God or gods. The argument today will not wash with evolutionists. But we who know God can see from Rom. 1 that in God are round leaves and spiky leaves, that He likes green, that He is a God who arranges chlorophyll and photosynthesis and green to be part of one unit. (If He’d wanted chlorophyll to be red, it would be.)

The Fullness of Glory: God once used a beautiful NZ forest to teach me about Rom. 8:22. He’d been growing a revelation in my heart for 3 months and it was bursting out of me around the time we received the Scrolls (see End Times Prophecies). I drove across the South Island of NZ through a forest and saw the leaves breaking down on the forest floor. Suddenly I knew it was death and I knew what God had been building in me – the revelation that all creation groans waiting for our redemption. Our sin (which brings death) is why leaves die. I saw how glorious that forest would be without death and decay – how lush – not a single brown tip on a single leaf. Then I saw how glorious we will be without sin in our redeemed bodies! It was a dim glimpse of the fullness of our coming glory.

“Of thru and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). The ancient Celtic Christians were hot on mission and evangelized Europe while much of the original Church had been lost in hierarchy. The Celts saw God in all things – trees, grasses, rocks, animals, light, sub-atomic particles, swirling galaxies, and His own who He adores with the heart of a lover. Jesus said that if the people shouting for Him were silenced the rocks themselves would cry out (Lk. 19:40). Rom. 8:22,23 says the whole of creation groans awaiting our redemption. If all things are in Him and through Him – and they are – then it comes as no surprise that all must be in harmony, from panda to crocodile, lion to lamb, and that creation groans without it. It’s loving-kindness that brings harmony, like the croc and the man. Currently we live in discord sown by satan who is prince of this world (Eph. 2:2, Jn. 12:31). Scripture teaches that harmony will come with His heavenly restoration and the New Jerusalem. Until then, we groan. But when restoration comes “the lion shall eat straw like the ox … they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain” (Is. 65:25). That describes our restored future existence with God – one of beauty and harmony between all things, just as perfect harmony exists within the Trinity. In this life we’ll need to challenge falsehood at times as Jesus and the apostles did (and as this website does in places), but as disciples our focus will always lie in moving towards harmony with our Saviour. Obedience is how we learn to follow God’s paths – harmony with Him is the result when we fully understand His Way and walk in Kingdom Life. (See Obedience vs Harmony and Repentance vs Restoration.)

Omnipresence in Creation: Creation even reveals the omnipresence of God. Anyone familiar with Chuck Missler’s teachings will know he loves science and mediates in international scientific forums. While teaching on space/time and dimensions to dig into eternity and explore God’s viewpoint, he mentioned a quantum physics experiment in sub-particles and how the smallest possible slice of matter loses its locality in space and time – it ends up being in one place, as well as in all places so that at that level of creation, things are separate, yet one. The experiment showed that a reaction to stimulus in a sub-particle in one country produced that exact reaction to a sub-particle in another country but without the stimulus. It hit me that this is the fabric of omnipresence – in one place yet in every place – separate yet one. The two countries were in different hemispheres (a distance of probably light-years in sub-particle language) yet what affected one, affected the other. We are made up of sub-particles. It’s in the dust we’re created from! Jesus has told us we’re His Body, and must work in unity as the Trinity does. What affects one part of His Body affects His whole Body 1 Cor. 12:23-26 shows beautifully how we are to honour each other, giving more abundant honour to those less honourable, but not to those more honourable as they don’t need it. Paul’s concern is that we have a level playing field and he says it’s so that there is no division in the Body and that we must care for each other, saying if one suffers, we all suffer and if one rejoices we all rejoice. The Church has yet to see this! She ignores the common ground we have in Him, and instead fights over hierarchy dogma which Paul forbids (1 Cor. 1:11-13, 3:3-4, 1 Tim. 2:14). Jesus told me “the blood does not hide itself from the lungs” and showed me how we are making the Body of Christ a cripple – closer to Quasimoto than the Beautiful Bride. The brain says that the ankles are not important (so how can we walk?) the heart says that the eyes see wrongly and tries to pluck them out, the blood says “I’m for the spine and liver but I won’t go near those lungs” and the whole Body fights within itself. It’s why I call LEGALISM A CANCER IN HIS BODY! Paul pointed out that if all the body was a hand how would we walk? Or if all the body was a mouth how would we see? (1 Cor. 12:17-25) We rely on each other to fulfill our own needs – the spiritual gift God has planted within each of us is essential to the whole, yet the hierarchy will not allow its use. The Body is split between clergy and laity (professional Christians who do all the talking and leading, and the spectators who listen, applaud, pay, and due to the growing leadership cult in modern churches, are increasingly reprimanded and/or accused of rebellion for questioning). This makes the Body a giant mouth, a giant ear, and a limbless wallet. Jesus said in Rev. 2:6 that He “despises” this, and Paul praised the Bereans for questioning and double-checking.

Like sub-particles, we are utterly interlinked – as entwined with each other as we are with Him – as He is within the Trinity. There are current US teachings that have hit NZ saying the Trinity is a hierarchy and Jesus is a lesser Being than the Father, despite Is. 9:6 naming Jesus as “Everlasting Father”, John telling us Jesus is the Creator, and Jesus saying He owns the Commandments (Jn. 14:15). Those who preach this have no understanding of oneness or of Jesus’ prayer in Jn. 17. Being one is all about ‘hupotasso’ which means interdependent mutual submission (not hierarchy – Jesus Himself came to serve, Mt. 20:28). Creation reveals God’s focus on mutuality in another way as well. Science shows us our God-given interdependence – plants give basic sugar and oxygen, animals need basic sugar and oxygen and give off carbon dioxide, which plants need in order to make sugar and oxygen. This shows the harmony of God and how “all things work together for good” which God has established in creation and which also flows through “those who are called, according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28) ie those redeemed back into His harmony. His very nature is shown in His creation. (See Obedience vs Harmony.) No wonder Jesus despises hierarchy – it sits in direct defiance of His pattern of harmony.

Heb. 11 says that our “faith is … the evidence of things unseen”. Jesus showed me how real this is. The ability to have faith at all proves God’s existence because if His unseen realm and Person didn’t exist, our ability to have faith in the unseen and in Him would also not exist in us. How could such a thing ‘evolve’? As a flower grows from a seed through the earth towards the sun (because the sun exists), so faith grows from a tiny mustard seed towards God. God and faith are linked in the unseen realm. Faith is the product of God and could not exist without Him! (As I write this a song-line on Christian radio Rhema claims that “the shadow proves the sunshine”. My point exactly!) The interdependence, physics, and of course beauty of creation, from volcanoes to daisies, and even our own ability for faith, hope, and love all reveal Who He is.

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Rest & Hear: A few years ago I began to feel myself drawn to have a Sabbath – a deliberate weekly time-out to chill, focus on God, and deny myself the opportunity to get dragged into mindless activities or chores. I then learned that God was saying the same thing to His people around the world. It’s not just that we need to keep the world at bay to be able to rest in God, it’s also because God is reminding His people of the importance of the Sabbath. The ‘protestant work ethic’ got in its way and the modern push to fill every waking moment with a self-improvement activity is the nail in the coffin of being still enough to hear God. Rick Joyner, in his book ‘The Harvest’ (p 38) said “entering the Sabbath rest of the Lord will become a major emphasis in preparation for the harvest. We must heed this word.” The Sabbath is God’s appointment with us, instituted and hallowed at Genesis not at Mt Sinai. By the time Moses was given the Commandments he was only told to “Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy” – sacred, separated. It was not new!

The Sabbath does not need to be any particular day or time – but God seems to be reminding His people that it’s important to rest. He’s telling people directly – the message is not coming from the pulpits. We’ll need it for what’s coming and we need to learn to cling to Him and rest in Him in order to hear Him clearly. It will protect us and in our hectic environments we need to remember peace. The world will get more frantic but God’s true Church has always been counter-cultural.

Sabbath = Grace: Then I saw something amazing in Heb. 4. Verse 1 gives a warning to not fall short of the promise of rest. Verse 3 says those who believe enter His rest – believers are under grace and get to rest from works of the flesh. Verses 9-11 then specify “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Our rest is compared to God’s rest on the 7th day – which are both a rest from works. There is only one way to spiritually rest from our works and that is by grace through faith – as verse 3 says. Incredibly, this is comparing the Sabbath to grace, as it then goes on to emphasize that we must be diligent to enter His rest and says that not entering that rest leads to falling into disobedience! We have a choice – salvation and rest through the grace of Jesus, or remaining in sin/disobedience. Here Hebrews says our choice is the Sabbath rest or disobedience. I was amused to consider that practicing restless perfectionistic works of the flesh to try to please God, is actually practicing disobedience. Of course Is. 64:6 makes it clear that works of the flesh are filthy rags – but Hebrews gives it another spin. No wonder it’s important to rest in the Sabbath of His grace – not just for our bodies but for our eternal spirits. We need to learn to draw aside from our busy schedules, and moreso as we see the Day approaching. Sabbath rest, like grace, is a lifestyle in Him. “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it Holy”! As Rick Joyner said “we must heed this word!”

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Many years ago God led me on what I thought was a dangerous path (He’s good at that!) – a pull towards liberty and away from rules. As a new Christian my first ‘quickened word’ (‘rhema’) was Rom. 14:22 “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” It shot off the page and into my heart dripping with such freedom and liberty that I thought I must be reading it wrong. At the time I didn’t even know what a rhema was but my first prophecy also said I’d preach the truths of liberty. Many prophecies since have said the same with one explaining that I’d been shown the “upside down truth” (ie truth on a bed of legalism) so I’d be able to discern real truth and real freedom. Scripture spoken on a bed of legalism is not truth, just as scripture coming from the mouth of satan “the father of lies” was not truth, when he used it to try and tempt Jesus. In those days when God began to show me this, controlling pastors were plentiful with the shepherding/discipleship movement and covering for women in full swing. I was in the middle of such a church group, not knowing that it was a recent man-made aberration. I saw the damage it was doing and felt God’s pull. So I “enquired of the Lord” – I asked Him to show me whether it was OK to seek freedom in Him and shun overly controlling pastors, which is what I felt He was saying to me. He gave me a vision.

A Vision of Two Trees: I saw two trees (possibly indicating the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, though that wasn’t specified). One was large, stately, and still, with long smooth limbs reaching upwards, but no leaves – no growth. It was dead. The other was green, messy, and blowing in the wind and as it moved the sunlight sparkled between the leaves. It was full of life. I knew that the message was that growing means to move and change and the result will be a beautiful mature healthy tree. Conversely, an attempt to be rigid and apply rigid rules in the fear of ‘getting things wrong’ brings death. It inhibits all growth and squashes the life out. Like the tree, that belief system looks stately and solid – but only because it’s dead. Life is messy – ask any parent! An over-emphasis on rules brings death (2 Cor. 3:6), and those who live in fear do not live in God (1 Jn. 4:18). The living tree was blown about by the wind of the Spirit and the light of God was revealed through its moving swaying branches. The message, and the answer to my prayer, was to flee from the rigid over-controlled churches. This is exactly what’s now happening world-wide with the ‘new revolution’ of millions of believers running after God and following their own callings outside of the church walls because there’s no room to outwork their callings within the tight church structures. They’re people who have got to the point of needing to live heart-to-heart with God, bypassing every other so-called mediator and gluing their lives to Jesus. (George Barna (Barna Research Group) has the majority of statistics about this in his book ‘Revolution’, see Recommended Resources on the home page of this website.)

Bride or Guest?: Jonathan David, Chuck Missler, and others teach that not all Christians will be the Bride. At this stage, I agree. Jesus had already revealed to me the same reasoning that Missler uses – there will be guests at the wedding! (Rev. 19:7-9, Mt. 2:1-10). The Church who will be the Bride is made up of people who cling to Jesus and love Him. For them Church is not based on a social club, a list of middle-class rules, or a hierarchy, but on salvation through a tortured and beloved Saviour. They cleave to their Saviour, whether as Desert Fathers, mystics, or martyrs – past or present. Our current modern churches are more hierarchical than any since the Reformation (you’re lucky if you can talk to your pastor even with an appointment) and millions are leaving them to pursue God.

So this Bride is in the making. She does not look like the current Church, though she’ll include every heart that loves Jesus more than legalistic law – from every denomination and every era. In this era the growing Bride is already bursting out of the strait-jackets of the current tight structures – the stately but dead tree. Rick Joyner saw this as a “jailbreak” (see Other End Times Prophecies) and Jonathan David said “the over-emphasis on doctrine has fried our brains.” The changing Bride will bend and grow as her roots and trunk (Jn. 15:1,5) feeds her life, and she’ll wave her arms in the wind of the Holy Spirit, the Son-light of God revealed as her arms are moved by His wind (Jn. 3:8). This is how the Church operated in the Book of Acts which was described as the first-fruits or the Former Rain (ie a tenth of the full harvest). The Church of the Latter Rain will be 10 times greater. Jesus said we’d do greater things than He had (Jn. 14:12). When the world sees a full harvest of love and the miraculous they will see Jesus fully in millions upon millions of people – healing and worshipping in the streets, feeding and loving the poor, fighting for the oppressed, dying happily either daily or physically for their Lover Jesus. It can only happen when each person lives heart-to-heart with Him – and when elders understand that they are helpers and servants – that it’s not their job to be masters of theology and tell each person how to think, believe, behave, or love God. They may facilitate a relationship between God and His own but they may not control one, and they are certainly not mediators between man and God (though under submission theology they claim to be). Only Jesus is Leader and Head of His Body, the Church.

The Joshua Generation: There are many nowadays saying that God is going to pour Himself into and use the younger generation. But God will use any willing vessel, and the current issue is that church structures are not open to “any willing vessel” due to a recent and overwhelming focus on programmes, leadership teams, marriage, and pastors promoting family life as God’s whole plan. The structure itself disqualifies most people who God would never overlook (He overlooks none) and focuses on very few (the elite – it’s been said the NZ church is well-known for creating Christian elitism). Despite the mystifying focus on married life coming from our pulpits, most married people (especially parents) are too busy to get involved in mission as it’s currently structured in churches, and those who have no time or interest in doing (mainly youth-focused) courses and programmes don’t get entrance into the ‘mission teams’. It’s been said the Church is the only army that shoots it’s own wounded – I’d add that it’s also the only group who ties up its willing helpers, forces spiritual muscles into atrophy, and then complains that ”the labourers are few” (Lk. 10:2). Not so wise!

Barna research, and many books, show millions leaving churches in order to follow the calling of God in their hearts because there’s no room for them to do it within the heavy church structure. This is happening to the extent that it’s being called “a phenomenon” by researchers. It’s happened before – in Exodus. God brought the people out of bondage but the first generation of those pilgrims still had the mind of Egypt, constantly moaned and bickered, and were still closer to the lower spiritual levels of Egypt, hungering for what their eyes could see and their hands could make – a golden calf – religion in their own strength. (See also Repentance vs Restoration.) Some were killed for idolatry and God had to wait for the generation to die before Israel could enter the Promised Land because He needed a people of faith who weren’t tainted by the rules of Egypt and could see beyond the “we can’t, we shouldn’t” into the “God will, so we can.” That’s why these coming ones have been called the Joshua Generation, but I don’t believe it has anything to do with age. Many of this Joshua Generation of church leavers are older people who have been left out of the structure’s fashionable focus on youth.

What I’ve been prophetically shown is that there will be a Generation Gap in the Church – but it won’t be over age. It will be over LIBERTY.

Liberty: One of the outward signs of the remnant Bride, the wheat who is being untangled from the tares (Mt. 13:29,30), will be that her heart will be filled with the liberty of Christ – who the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:36). (Compare, The Current Church.) My old friend and international bible teacher, Marcus Ardern once told me that he judges a church based on the freedom of its people. If they are not free he knows that Jesus is not in it. He openly preaches against the submission/covering dogma and has said “legalists are always terrified of liberty.” He also once said these wise words “If you ever have trouble with a doctrine, weigh it up against what you know of the character of God.” When we know God’s Word and have a deep relationship with Him then both our minds and hearts will recognize any counterfeit. Liberty does not mean living outside of God’s commands – it means living within them but being led and taught by our gentle Teacher who can teach not just our minds, but our hearts as well. Jesus is an incredible Teacher and an incredible Leader. He said His sheep follow Him because they know His voice (Jn. 10:4), and unlike modern pulpiteers, He claims He is a servant (Mt. 20:28) and takes each one on their own unique God-given path.

His true Church will follow Him like water, turning with Him easily in their deep desire to be close to Him, and that closeness will see them used as vessels for His miracles, pouring love and service into their communities. These will be people lost in worship and adoration for their King and Bridegroom, loving and accepting each other with the love and respect that Jesus has for each of us. They won’t fight over differences in doctrine without first seeking to understand what’s in the heart of a brother or sister. Those who oppress or blame will fall as Jesus shakes everything that can be shaken so that only the unshakable remains” (Heb. 12:26,27). This has already begun.

Fighting Legalism: The incredible liberty that God is restoring to His Bride was last seen in an international move of God in the Jesus Freak hippy revival which became the Charismatic Renewal of the 1970s. But it was squashed by the shepherding/discipleship movement which brought in the doctrine of hierarchical covering and submission to men. It’s been said by some international teachers who were there at the time that this doctrine killed the revival, just like infiltrating doctrines of Roman hierarchy killed the spirit of the early Church (read ‘Pagan Christianity’ for more info in this, see Recommended Resources on the home page). It has certainly killed the spirits of many of God’s people – satan is subtle, he uses what ‘looks’ like obedience to seduce and destroy. So long as people aren’t submitting to God, he’s happy. God’s anger over this has grown to the point where He is now intervening. There are millions voting with their feet in “the phenomenon” of church leavers who are outworking their callings in their daily lives and on the streets as the Jesus Freaks did, and as the early Church did in the Book of Acts – people like Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way, and Pete Grieg of the 24/7 prayer/mission rooms. They’re loosely called “new monastics” because they live in prayer and mission in their neighbourhoods in a life devoted to God and those in need. NZ pastor, Steve Dunne, said if God’s called your heart to do something, then do it and pay for it yourself. Don’t wait for church funding, church blessing, a church programme or team – just go do it. He pointed out that Paul funded his missions by continuing to make tents. This helps to remove the religious nicolaitan line between ‘professional Christians’ and the rest, because some are referring to their secular jobs as ‘tent-making’ and using the money earned to fund God’s calling to them, rather than just as a donation to church funds while they remain unfulfilled spectators.

(A note on giving: I believe God calls us to give because it’s a joyful experience – more blessed to give than receive – and part of that is giving into where our hearts are, rather than just putting money in a common bucket. God’s ways are joyous and we get joy from giving to whatever we consider worthy, whether an itinerant ministry, a certain mission, animal or people shelters, or even a church building fund. Giving is our pleasure because it’s His pleasure and we’re made in His image. That’s why He loves a willing giver and rejects gifts from an unwilling heart. Knowing God’s character makes it obvious, while following rules about tithes and offerings blinds us to the joy. An attitude of nine-to-five ‘tent-making’ for the purpose of His calling lets us pull our own joy-strings! As for 10% tithes, what we really need to realize is that God owns all that we have and like the early Church 100% of our resources should be put into His hands. Ten percent is for the first-fruits, 100% is for the Latter Rain harvest. In Acts the Church sold all they had and gave it to the apostles to divide equally so there was no-one left in need. Malaysian prophet/pastor Jonathan David has said that the reason God has not restored this to our current Church is because the leaders lack the integrity to deal with it properly. (I suggest that a sign of integrity restored will be when they stop calling themselves leaders and remember the word ‘servant’.) But Shane Claiborne and his friends have managed to arrange shared resources. God owns the cattle on 1000 hills and will not leave us destitute (Ps. 50:10,11, Mt. 6:33). A Chinese mission story tells of how Christian villages shared all they had and then shared with surrounding villages. It became obvious where the Christians were because their housing, crops, and roads were all of a higher standard. The authorities thought they were being exemplary communists. This is outworking the gospel with your skills and resources – ‘tent-making’.)

The Dark Light: Scripture warns us that if we see things with a jaundiced eye, the light in us will become darkness (Lk. 11:35, Mt. 6:23). The Church has been darkened by religious legalism. Prophecies and books abound on the subject. Pastor/prophet/author Rick Joyner says that the final battle in the Church will be against the religious spirit. Then there’s the specific and clear word I received from Jesus in November 2008 saying that it was time to pray against what He called “the synagogue of satan” and to bring down in the Spirit those who oppress. About two weeks after this I received a prophecy from the Nelson church that hosts the Annual NZ Prophetic Conference. It said that God was about to destroy the man-made structures of the Church (see Other End Times Prophecies.) Now I have another confirmation from Marcus Ardern (who is known for his prophetic bent), saying that God will bring down the man-made structures of the Church and He will do it suddenly and quickly. It’s the same as the Nelson message. Jesus said “I will build my Church”! He alone has the wisdom and power to do it properly. I once asked Jesus how He could love me so deeply and His clear answer was “Because of My eyes”. He made me understand that He sees with the eyes of grace. This is in clear distinction to seeing with “a bad eye” as in Mt. 6:23! We need to see with the eyes of God. He sees with grace – religion sees with rules. Wellington pastor Ross Smith uses the example of the woman caught in adultery and how the religious leaders demanded her death and tried to trick Jesus at the same time. In ‘Naked Illusion’ (p 83) he writes “Religion shows no mercy, no love, and no forgiveness. Religion like this is in complete contrast to the love of Jesus Christ and all that we, His believers, stand for. This form of religion turns its back on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So where does it come from, how does it invade our churches…? It invades too easily as the sepulcher of satan is in the church. This religion is totally based in the heart of satan and is found in the heart of many churches. Sadly, this is one of the great delusions of the 21st century church, but people can’t see it because their eyes are not open and their ears have become dull.” He then cites Rev. 2:13 and Rev. 3:9. Smith also writes “God is about to cleanse His temple. Of this we can be sure” (p 90). He advises that we judge ourselves now (something God recently told me I do for myself and therefore avoid His judgements). Smith then reminds us of Heb. 10:31 “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” Jesus offers us only 2 options – to fall into His arms as our deepest Lover or into His hands as judge. (See Knowing Him and Mt. 7:22,23.)

Let Freedom Reign: In his inspired speech Martin Luther King said “Let Freedom Reign” and Jesus is saying the same to His Bride. Those who have ears to hear are following in their unseen millions. Those who are not hearing would do well to remember the scriptures that He came to set the captives free. The end of captivity is not rules (more captivity) – it is the Promised Land. The ‘Egyptians’ who seek to control God’s people and detract from His freedom – and they are currently shouting loudly and digging their heels in – will fall beneath the Red Sea, along with the well-oiled structures of their powerful chariots. (See False Leaders.)

Kings & Priests: The Bride of Christ will be made up of the Royal Priests of Melchizedek. In the 1970s, the Church remembered after dark centuries that we are Kings and Priests, but our Priesthood is currently that of Levi which has no kingly role. The Church is covered in clashing rules and harsh yokes because ‘kingship’ has been usurped by a few at the top. God has shown me that the Priesthood of Melchizedek is as far above the Levitical Priesthood as the heavens are above the earth. (See also, John the Baptist.)

God’s Seal: He also showed me the depth of spirituality of the true gospel and the unbelievable beauty of His Way, compared to the death of dried up rules that much of the current Church passes off as the faith (Ez. 37). Several international teachers have said that the coming revived Church will be so different to the current structure that the two will seem totally unrelated, that the true Church will be unrecognizable, and that the world will not see how the two were ever connected or the new grew out of the old. That’s because unlike every other revival, this won’t be based on the current foundation and will have no roots in the current structure. Hence, the ‘phenomenon’ of people leaving churches to seek God more deeply, and the many prophecies on God bringing down the control-towers. She’ll be the Church with no walls, a different organism, closer to the Church in Acts, full of depth and Spirit with a yardstick of love and humility in His light, not judgement and self-perfectionism in man's rules. Because God will lead this move, the Body will be led by rhema not by law. We’ve had 30 years of high-quality, high-protein teaching which is a good foundation for knowing His Logos (‘revealed biblical scripture’, also used for Jesus being the “Word/Logos”) and we are now in a position to step out on rhema (personal Holy Spirit guidance) and be led as Jesus and the apostles were. Jesus said the Spirit will never contradict the revealed word of scripture (Logos) but from that strong foundation we can step out of the boat and follow His personal instructions for us (rhema). He said “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.” This is being led by rhema. Prophet Jonathan David is one voice among several who says the coming Church will be unrecognizable, and will be led by rhema like the early Church was. (Of course, this will totally freak out the legalists, but God is shaking them already.)

Apostasy vs Love: The churches that want submission to elitist leaders and focus on rules and control of people will be harsh and powerless but for satan’s power – a broken shell with death inside – a man-made construction and whitewashed wall that God will destroy (Ez. 13:1-15). They will become the prophesied apostate church. His true people will be warm and loving, relying on Him for guidance in every situation and knowing He alone has the answers. Any guidance from elders or each other will come with the respectful fear and trembling that we guide God’s own wife, a chosen vessel in whom His Holy Spirit dwells. The Fat Controllers, who either ignore the sheep, or are harsh with them, will be judged as promised in Ez. 34:2 and Jer. 25:34-36. God’s people will not look to their own ways or those of the past but will have eyes only for God. Jesus followed His Abba with every breath, loved the lost, and fought with the religious who reduce God to rules and techniques. His Bride will be no different.

Becoming a Threat – A Prophetic Word: The Bride is made of shepherd-boy Davids and prostitute Marys. They’re strong people who are close to the very heart of God – forgiven much, love much, pant for Him, and care nothing for organizations. God told me the following so clearly and strongly that I shook internally for 20 minutes. He said of His coming Bride:

“They will threaten the structures and the hierarchies, just as Jesus and the early Church did. Prepare to become a threat! They’ll need, and get, the wisdom to speak the Truth boldly but with gentleness. Mighty God – He is coming! His sword is raised – His teeth are drawn. His roar will be heard – Annanias and Sapphira will die.” (The last statement is a lesson taken from Acts 5.)

His beautiful presence descended on me at work when He said this – I was so caught up in Him I had to leave my desk and go worship Him. I love it when He’s inconvenient – He tests our priorities. As for becoming threats – Jesus already warned us and said “rejoice when they revile you for My Name’s sake” (Mt. 5:11, Lk. 6:22). As prophet Jill Austin often said “revival and war are running mates.” Seeker-friendly churches who try to be relevant to the world have become exactly what they wanted – relevant to the world! When the Church wakes up she’ll become a threat to both the world and the religious – like her Leader.

David & Saul: It’s being said that the spirit of David is currently arising in the Church. This is the spirit of worship and war. Like King David, God’s Davids have been hidden in caves being prepared by God and are currently emerging. Because of that, the spirit of Saul is fighting for power, and indeed is shouting loudly in the Church at the moment. The devil sees that his time is short and he is detracting from God’s coming move as hard and loudly as possible. Saul was jealous of David because David was God’s chosen. Saul had God’s favour for a season and when God moved on, Saul did not want to let go of power. Neither do the current hierarchies of structural control. They want their audiences and their tithes, but the result is that God’s people are impotent spectators, His Body can’t function effectively, and the harvest can’t be reaped – ie, the labourers are few because the structure has chained them up!

The Bored Bride: Research on church leavers shows that people are fed up with being spectators while God calls ever more strongly to their hearts to fulfill His purpose and their own lives – fed up with getting no guidance on serving Him due to unapproachable leadership teams (leaders seem to have forgotten the word ‘servant’) – fed up with their offerings going to salaries and building funds (95% in the US) they want their giving to make a real difference to people who really need it – fed up with overly controlling pastors – and that people are finding church service and activities times difficult in a increasingly busy world in which people are ‘time-poor’. Between work, family, Saturday chores, Sunday services, and mid-week evening ‘life-groups’ people feel an increasing burden and those polled have said they feel that church leaders who don’t work in the secular world are out of touch with the time constraints modern workers deal with on a daily basis. They want time to rest in God and follow Him, not just chase church activities. God is calling people back to the Sabbath – not a specific day but an attitude of resting with Him and letting Him refresh them. Personally I’d like to see Sunday 2pm services which would give overworked people time to sleep in or hang with family, have lunch, and get to an afternoon service without a frantic morning rush. The service would last all afternoon as people fellowshipped and testified (thus, no need for mid-week personal groups) and they could then go home for dins or stay and eat together. That also leaves time for relaxing one-on-one with God.

The End of Saul: Millions of Christians are finding themselves like sheep without shepherds so they are leaving the structures of Saul and chasing their true Shepherd. The structure is currently following Saul by shouting accusations of heresy against the emerging Davids, their focus on worship, and their intimacy with God. In the end Saul sought human power. After God’s anointing shifted, rather than say like John did “I must decrease and He must increase” Saul sought the power of the Witch of Endor. The end of the Sauls in churches which follow human power and are overly controlling will be the same. The spirit of control is witchcraft which is always about spiritual manipulation to get control. Jesus said “Those who seek to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Mk. 8:35). The Greek shows that when we lose our life for the gospel’s sake, we are laying down our soul/will – the word is psuché (from which we get psyche), and when we do this the life that we gain is zoé – divine life. When we lay down our psuché we get our zoé. The new Church is full of divine life, but the Sauls who seek human power are banging on the very door of the Witch of Endor, wanting soulish control. The prophecies on the remnant Church and the apostate church are happening before our eyes. (For more on this, see the web-links under Ephesians: Dealing With False Submission in the House of Deborah section.)

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An Auckland pastor commented on how God loves us, delights in us, and how His face shines on us (Ps. 8, 16, Is. 42, Num. 6). He pointed out that once we understand how much we’re loved it gives us ease and peace. I’ve learned that when we cease from striving, our godly deeds come from love not works. In fact, when we quit striving, the fruits flourish in us as God takes the wheel! The pastor continued that to love someone means giving them attention. Jesus said “Love God and love each other.” God knows every hair on our heads yet there’s a lack of love in the Church. We don’t attend to each other at all, we’re more like strangers than family – acquaintances at best. They say that house groups are for building more personal relationships, but I’ve found it doesn’t happen much in small groups either because they’re structured like mini-churches – tasked with continuing the previous Sunday’s sermon in a leader and hearer scenario. There is discussion, but the focus is on a solitary message (which most will have heard 100 times) and there’s still no room for personal sharing. The lack of filéo (ie brotherly) love is one of the factors the millions of church leavers have cited as giving wings to their exiting feet. The blunt answer is that for small or large groups Church must be more than a school room and more than a social club. We are a mystery – a Bride – bonded in the love of His Spirit, Blood, and Truth and if there’s no love there’s no God, and if there’s no God-connection there’s no love. 1 Jn. 4 shows that when people don’t love each other it’s because they don’t properly love God. Such love is not an intellectual exercise where we can just pray more often, hear more sermons on love, or do more good deeds. It’s about relationship with Him and having His own love fill our souls. Only then can that love overflow into others. Eph. 3:19 says to know Christ’s love is to be filled with ALL the fullness of God!

A Prophetic Moment – Jesus on Loving Him: While reading 1 Jn. 4, Jesus spoke to me and said that He wants people to know His heart; that He’s angry with disunity – angry with blame – but that He is in love with His people and they need to be in love with Him, each one individually. He pointed out that there is no other command, and that without His love we cannot love our neighbours. He continued, saying that if the Church is divisive they do not love Him, and if they point the finger of blame, they do not love Him. That was what He said to me.

Scripturally, Is. 58 tells us that pointing the finger of blame is unacceptable to God, and Paul tells us not to argue over doctrines which leads to the ruin of the hearers (2 Tim. 2:14). Rom. 16:17,18 tells us to turn away from divisive people and Titus 3 says of divisive men to kick them out of fellowship after 2 warnings. But modern preachers, especially those who push the submission theologies or think they’re preaching new wine, often giggle about their controversial doctrines and how they upset some people. When God’s in charge of His Church, divisive people could be disfellowshipped! Paul calls such men “slaves to their own appetites” (Rom. 16:18). (See also Ephesians: Dealing With False Submission, and New and Old Wine.) The current soap-box shouting on the morals of society led to an abortion doctor being murdered in the foyer of a church on 31 May 09. No doubt the murderer thought he was doing God a favour. Wikipedia shows many more such murders, including of 2 receptionists who worked in an abortion clinic. That is how deadly the finger of blame has become and theology is no excuse for murder. In Gethsemane Jesus told Peter to put away his sword. We have the “gospel of peace” and the Sword of the Spirit. But this has degenerated into the gospel of debate and Sword-of-the-Word fights. Soap-box moralizers are not on the path of the gospel of peace, or indeed, the path of Truth. (See Scoffers and Mockers.)

Unity: The sense I got from Jesus’ message about those who blame and divide, and from 1 Jn. 4, is that unity is all important – it’s what will show the world He exists and that we belong to Him (which He said in Jn. 17) yet unity is not set around rules and doctrines of law but around grace and love, forebearance and patience. When we love God before all other things, He Himself will cut away the falsehoods and bring us into His Truths. As we grow in Him, we will automatically become ill-at-ease with doctrines of blame, while at the same time walking in His Truth ourselves. This is the way He’ll build His Church, and only He can do it. What’s coming in the Body is the magnificent unity and love between the brethren that will lead to the Holy Bride of Christ. Then the world will know who Jesus is and His people will be able to offer the lost a community lifestyle of love and union with God, not just a set of academic facts and rules.

We are currently a long way from that, but He is already at work making sweeping and drastic changes that are affecting millions as they leave behind the wranglings and politics, the wrappings and trappings of the traditions of men, and seek to follow Jesus in a naked one-on-one relationship. Godly communities such as Shane Claiborne’s ‘The Simple Way’ and Pete Grieg’s 24/7-prayer ‘Boiler Rooms’ are emerging everywhere. These millions are chasing devotion and such groups are more dedicated to God than anything since the early Church or Desert Fathers. Jesus said “You will know them by their fruit” and I know them by their devotion to, and deep relationship with, their Shepherd. Those who love and desire Him will be kept in His grasp (Jn. 10:27-29). Nothing can break His grasp except our own will to be free of Him. The strength to keep us in His light lies in His grasp, not ours. Our job is to love, trust, and follow Him.

John’s letters are filled with the gentle love and unity that can flow between God’s people. The current church structure has not yet had the revelation that John had and that many individual Christians now have, that God is lovesick for us. While they focus on rules and techniques of faith, and divisions caused by small differences in understanding, they miss the broad thrust of the magnificent love of God, of relationship with Jesus, and of what it means to be a functioning healthy Body.

True Religion: While John pulled no punches when warning of the Gnostics and false brethren, 1 Jn. 4 and 1 Jn. 5:3 show clearly that if we don’t live in love we don’t live in God (see Knowing Him). Those who follow rules and controls that blame and divide, rather than follow a relationship with our Shepherd, could be goats who are in danger of hearing “depart from me” (see Sheep & Goats – A Vision). Micah 6 tells us to “show justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” James 1:27 tells us that true religion is to visit orphans and widows in distress and to keep ourselves unstained from the world. The rules are easy – His yoke is light – His love is glorious.

For more on the love and symbiosis which will make His Body function like an athlete and build His Bride, see Hupotasso (Mutual Submission) in Reproducing Disciples.

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After growing up through churches, youth camps, and Bible College Shane Claiborne went in search of a Christianity he’d never seen but wanted. He worked with Mother Teresa and the lepers, and on return to the US he saw a poverty of spirit that outstripped the poverty of India. He moved to the poorest area of Philadelphia to live among the junkies and gangs, runs an open home, spends his life helping others, and co-founded The Simple Way. He has spoken at the United Nations, Harvard University, and around the world. He limits his speaking engagements so that his life remains devoted to serving those in need. He is young with dreadlocks down his back, gets arrested for feeding the hungry and sleeping outdoors to support the homeless – just as the disciples of old were arrested and executed for standing for the gospel against the authorities. Just as Jesus was. Shane tends to win in court, using it as an opportunity to preach the gospel. His work to bring Christian love to the victims in Iraq saw him questioned by the FBI who he also preached to and showed them the love of the real Christ. He calls himself a “new monastic” – a phrase coined by Pete Grieg who founded the 24/7 prayer movement in 1999 which had reached 68 countries by 2006! These worshipping Davids, emerging like butterflies from a chrysalis, have God’s strong support!

In a meeting I attended, Shane was asked about the number of hot issues churches are storming these days – including abortion and female submission. He said he takes personal responsibility for teens who are pregnant in his suburb saying he'll help with the babies – a hands-on approach he learned from Mother Teresa. He made the point that if Christians aren't prepared to take responsibility and DO something to help – they need to shut up and stop pointing the finger of blame (forbidden in Is. 58). It’s the Church’s job to help and love – it’s the devil’s job to accuse. Murder (including that of of the abortion doctor, above) is arranged by satan. As for the current upswing against women in leadership, he said he once tried to give up a preaching timeslot in favour of a woman preacher, was not allowed, so preached while wearing a t-shirt saying “God loves women preachers.” He was never invited back.

Joyner’s Warning: In April 2008, Wellington saw a large group of intercessors fast and pray over a long weekend against women in both secular and spiritual leadership, despite the women who preached and pastored in the early Church, eg the Church in Chloe’s house, the teaching of Priscilla, other women Paul names as his fellow travelers and labourers in the Lord. Rick Joyner, in ‘Epic Battles of the Last Days’ (p 81) says “If intercession is motivated by a spirit of control or manipulation, it is witchcraft, and its power is just as real as that of black magic.” I agree. Over the years I’ve cut many curses off Christians that were put there by well-meaning but controlling brethren whose manipulative prayers had been infected by lower realms and the demons that live there (see End Times Prophecies – Scrolls 1 & 2). YWAM Director, Loren Cunningham, and others, point out that Paul clearly overturned any sanctions against God’s daughters and that the church dogma against women is unbiblical (see House of Deborah). Personally, I see it as the Sauls clinging to power and pushing for The Stepford church.

An Unrecognizable Bride: Currently God is getting rid of the power-mongers (see Other End Times Prophecies). Joyner and others say the Bride will be unrecognizable as she returned to being a Door to Heaven in communities. Like the Church in Acts, Shane’s community shares all things which means they can live very cheaply (about $150 per month each). All extra money is given to the poor. He said the faith is not about right thinking but about right living (“be doers of the word” – see also Melchizedek) and noted that theology has been seriously twisted over the last 10 yrs or so (I’ve heard it preached that this was due to the 1990s emphasis on the Throne and not the Cross). He believes we need to take the Church back to the streets and out of the buildings, return to being a community of believers, and leave behind what he calls “the myth of independence”. He also gave away $20,000 to the beggars on Wall St in one afternoon, an event that began with a nun blowing a ram’s horn. The sum came from 2 donations and he turned half of it into coins, turning the street silver.

People come from around the world to see how his group operates in its ‘Acts-style’ faith. They ask him what a typical day is like and he says there isn’t one, but tries to describe it anyway in his book ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ (see Recommended Resources) writing:

"We hang out with kids and help them with homework in our living room, and jump in open fire hydrants on hot summer days. We share food with folks who need it, and eat the beans and rice our neighbour Ms. Sunshine makes for us. Folks drop in all day to say hi, have a safe place to cry, or get some water or a blanket. … We run a community store out of our house. We call it the Gathering, and neighbours can come in and fill a grocery bag with clothes for a dollar or find a couch, a bed, or a refrigerator. Sometimes people donate beautiful things for us to share with our neighbours; other times they donate their used toothbrushes.

“We reclaim abandoned lots and make gardens amid the concrete wreckage around us. We plant flowers inside old TV screens and computer monitors on our roof. We see our friends waste away from drug addiction, and on a good say, someone is set free. We see police scare people, and on a good day, we find an officer who will play wiffleball with his billy club. We rehab abandoned houses. And we mourn the two people who died in this property where I am now writing. (I can hear the kids outside where I am writing finishing a mural on the side of the house that will read ‘My people will beat their weapons into plows and study violence no more’ – from the prophets Micah and Isaiah. The kids are breaking down toy weapons to make a mosaic plow for the mural.) We try to make ugly things beautiful … We get fined for distributing food. We go to jail for sleeping under the stars [in support of the homeless]. We win in court. We have friends in prison and on death row. We stand in the way of state-sanctioned execution ….

“We wrestle to free ourselves from macrocharity and distant acts of charity that serve to legitimize apathetic lifestyles of good intentions but rob us of the gift of community. We visit rich people and have them visit us. We preach, prophesy, and dream together about how to awaken the Church from her violent slumber. Sometimes we speak to change the world, other times we speak to keep the world from changing us. …

“We believe in another way of life – the Kingdom of God – which stands in opposition to the principalities, powers, and rulers of this dark world. (Eph 6:12) So that's an average day." (Emphasis, mine.)

To me, this describes a daily walk in the Kingdom of God. It stands in stark contrast to those infrequent leadership-led programmes in which church members suddenly appear en masse for a task, call it ‘mission’, then vanish again behind the 4 walls for another year. While those can be good – they are not a Kingdom-led life.

Mission: Shane avoids doctrinal statements but wants people to know the love, grace, and peace of Jesus. They're evangelicals but much of their support comes from the Catholics. They send people across the country to preach on bikes, on foot, or in RVs – they have a van that runs on vegetable oil and they hit up the restaurants for old oil. He quotes Catholic Bishop Dom Helder Camara "When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist" and Roman Emporer Julian who said "The godless Galileans feed our poor in addition to their own."

And he reminds us that Jesus joined the people at the bottom, the outcasts and undesirables, and then invited His followers into a journey of downward mobility to become the least.

They have sister groups like themselves, and others who are permanent nomads. He likens them to the apostles and the supporters – the travelling gospel preachers who rely on the others for food and bed, or – like the true apostles (2 Cor. 11:27) – they sleep rough and go without food. It's the Church with bare feet and no mask – Jesus with an open face.

The ‘Boiler Rooms’ of 24/7 prayer, initiated by Pete Grieg and now across the world, are similar. They deal with the poor and hurt in the local communities, provide an open door for all, feed and clothe people, and spend their lives in prayer. They call it “breathing in and out” – we spend time with God breathing in His provision, and then go and breathe that out into the world. It’s something the Desert Fathers and old Monasteries knew, and Pete coined the phrase “new monastics”. The book on Boiler Rooms, ‘Punk Monk’, cites a time when a teenage street kid was having a cup of tea with a women who was the god-daughter of Queen Elizabeth. That is God’s house!

Another example of gospel living cited by Claiborne comes from a suburban group who realized they didn't know their neighbours, so made the effort and ended up sharing all their resources – ie, one family has the laundry machines, another has the lawnmowing stuff, etc. It made for community and saving money, but more than that, it created bonds that are strong and it has become a permanent thing for the neighbourhood. When our neighbours become our family we are entering a godly lifestyle – loving our neighbours as ourselves! It would be hard to move away from a community which has built bonds of love between strangers.

To quote St Francis of Assisi, "Share the gospel by all means possible – if necessary, use words."

What the Bride Might Look Like: God gave me 3 glimpses of what the coming Church might look like. In 2006 I saw God’s people learn to “know each other after the Spirit”. I saw evangelists all over the streets, preaching through music, words, and kindnesses, and that spontaneous worship would erupt – 2 strangers will pass each other by, recognize His Light in each other, give a high-5, and stop for 5 minutes to worship their God. Passers-by will think they are old friends and be surprised to hear them introducing themselves to each other. Non-Christians will begin to see the love that Jesus prayed for in Jn. 17 that will show the world who He is. Then in August 2009 God gave me another glimpse of the Bride. I saw a mixture of communities like Shane’s and Pete’s – places of prayer and mission where anyone can come and find God’s love and support. They’ll run cheaply, gathering in people’s homes or in public places (as in Acts) and they‘ll be groups of like-minded friends rather than large groups of strangers with no cohesion between them. The spectator classroom situation will be gone forever as the main means of worship – the Bride will be on the streets following the Lamb wherever He leads to fulfill His will and to bring his Kingdom. These were glimpses of the Church in mission. Then in November 2009 I saw God’s people gather together to worship. It had nothing to do with street ministry or purposeful prayer but was more like today’s Church gatherings – a place where God’s people come together to meet with God, but minus the pulpit. The shepherds were focused on ensuring the old people had the most comfortable seats, and then that everyone else’s needs were met so they would not be distracted from meeting with their God. There was no teaching or discussion – just His own crawling under His Mantle of Love to be refreshed – His people coming together under the Divine presence of the Lover as He descended on us and fed us directly with His Spirit. It was the sort of situation that would produce the groanings Paul spoke of in Rom. 8:26. What Pete Grieg and the Desert Fathers called “breathing [Him] in”. It’s what Jesus did when He disappeared for private prayer. No-one can refresh our spirits like God can. He is Living Water.

Commonalities in Church Leavers: As one who is already visibly living as the Bride, and helps others to do the same, Shane has seen a common pattern in those who are living their faith outside the church walls. These patterns have also been recorded by Barna Research and Alan Jamieson’s statistical studies on church leavers. (See their books under Recommended Resources on the home page.)

  • The biggest difference is that they have a deep intimacy with Jesus and as such are more loving of each other, often deliberately sharing economies and resources as the early Church did.
  • They are deliberately moving closer to the rough parts of town to help the poor. He says the most dangerous place for Christians is in middle-class comfort where they spiritually die, and notes that while many Christians testify to being "saved from the gutter" we really need to be "saved from the cul-de-sac".
  • They seek reconciliation and lament prejudice and all forms of inequality. Many actively support gender equality in ministry (as Paul did – see House of Deborah) and their denominational barriers are non-existent.
  • The new breed are anti-military. It’s a big shift in theUS as many Southern Evangelicals are so pro-military. Shane has taken the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) and changed it to “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” It’s a good question. In NZ we’re thankfully not presented with the reality of the question in our churches. Not so in the US where it’s an unavoidable consideration.
  • They celebrate both singleness and marriage. He preaches (as do I) that the over-emphasis on marriage is unbiblical. The new breed of Christians know that whether celibate or married, the emphasis must be on whichever lifestyle lets a person pursue Jesus without distraction.
  • They’re realizing their stewardship of creation, caring for what God made rather than trying to dominate it, which has been the understanding of Genesis in the past.
  • The new breed has frustration in common. He calls it a gift from God to change the Church, and quoted Mother Teresa "We must be the fragrance of Christ."

Be Doers of the Word: For myself, I don’t know anyone who is not frustrated with their church because they’re hindered from godly service. I’ve seen that the frustration comes from people who know what sort of church they want, but can’t find it. It doesn’t yet exist fully but is in its infancy. Shane is right – the frustration is from God speaking into His people’s hearts that He wants more from His Church and the result will be His Bride. Those millions who are leaving man-made structures to pursue God for themselves will be knitted together as Jesus builds His Church. The reason for the frustration is dire – it’s because God’s people are not allowed to be "doers of the word" like Jesus commands but, sitting in classroom-type rows week after week, are forced to be "hearers only" like Jesus forbids (Jas. 1:22). It is a serious indictment on the current leadership structure and one of the reasons God is removing it.

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Many groups have sprung up calling themselves “Forerunners” because the Church is sensing that Jesus’ return is near. But I haven’t heard any comparisons with the original forerunner, John the Baptist, who has certain strong things to teach us. Jesus said in Mt. 11:11 that John was the greatest ever born of women but that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven (ie those born of the Spirit) was greater than John. The Church does not realize how truly glorious she is or the glory of her destiny.'

Levitical & Eternal High Priests: John was the last Old Testament prophet. His ministry was still under the Old Covenant and (surprise) he was the true High Priest of Israel. His parents, Elizabeth and Zacharias, were both Levites and Zacharias was a Priest in the Temple. The High Priest was Caiaphas who trumped up charges against Jesus. Caiaphas was a stooge who the Romans selected by drawing lots. He had no legitimate claim to the Office of High Priest and was not recognized by heaven.

One of the jobs of the High Priest was to announce the one who would replace him. This is what John did by saying “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He was proclaiming the incoming High Priest. Not only that, but when John baptized Jesus, and Jesus arose from the water, the baton was passed – the Priesthood of Levi ended and the Royal Priesthood of Melchizedek was born. Baptism does more than bring forgiveness and new life – it makes us Royal Priests. At that moment the Holy Spirit descended from heaven!

When Jesus was charged and Caiaphas tore his robes over Jesus’ alleged blasphemy, this too was a requirement of God. It was forbidden to tear those robes and if they were torn a curse was brought onto the High Priest and his family and the Office was dissolved. God dissolved that Office before the crucifixion because there was only one High Priest and only one sacrifice – Jesus. So although the earthly Office of High Priest was stolen from John and God didn’t recognize Caiaphas, He did recognize the Office – hence He had Caiaphas prophesy about Jesus that it was better one man die for a nation than that the whole nation die (Jn. 11:49-51). But God recognized John as High Priest and had him announce Jesus, then He officially removed the Office completely so our true High Priest, Jesus, could legally make the sacrifice for our atonement. God’s plans are intricately detailed!

Wild Man John: There’s so much that forerunners can learn from John. He ate bugs and God showed me that in scripture locusts are synonymous with curses. John ate and ingested our curses – a true forerunner of the sacrifice of Christ. The forerunners God’s raising up now foreshadow the coming King – the Lion of Judah. That’s why the Church has been so sidetracked by the Throne and ‘leadership sickness’ that they’ve all but forgotten servanthood. But walking in Kingdom authority is only possible for those who have been crucified with Christ, taken up their own Cross, and been refined as gold in His fires. That’s the secret of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Resurrection only comes through death and the greater the coming glory the deeper our purging will be. It’s something only God can do – and He is. Our part is to let go of our precious church idols, open ourselves to the Sword Who separates the soulish from the spiritual in us (Heb.4:12) and let Him circumcise our hearts and cut all flesh away.

John ate locusts and wild honey – in getting wild honey he may have often been stung. Unlike Elijah’s ravens there’s no record that God arranged to bring the food to John. John lived hard, wore harsh camel hair, was a Nazarite (had never cut his hair), lived and slept in the wild, ate insects, and was possibly covered in bee stings. What a picture! With a message burning in his bones like Jeremiah, he shouted about repentance until people came to see what was going on. With the Levitical sacrificial system, repentance and forgiveness through water could’ve seemed blasphemous. But in the end all of Jerusalem came to hear him. When the religious leaders turned up he called them a nest of snakes, asked who warned them to flee the wrath to come, and told them the axe was already laid to the base of their structure (Mt. 3). Then he baptized them. His life was far from normal or glamorous. He didn’t do conferences and wasn’t in a leadership team. Today he’d be considered deranged. Yet Jesus called him the greatest ever born of woman.

Between Malachi and the New Testament God had been prophetically silent for 400 years. When a prophet finally arose, he ate bugs and lived rough. Yet this greatest Priest of Levi said he wasn’t worthy to tie the sandals of the Melchizedek Priest, which is our Order. Jesus prophesied the same by saying that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven (us) was greater than the greatest under Levi. Church, wake up and smell the glory and know that it doesn’t lie in the Christian celebrity culture or Levitical church structure.

Forerunners are going to be very weird – they will not look anything like the Church of the last 1900 years. They might look something like the Desert Fathers or ancient Celtic missionaries – and those now following that path are called the new monastics. Most of the Church is lukewarm at the moment (though they think they're rich, they're poor and in need of God’s fiery trials, Rev. 3:18). The forerunners will be voices crying in that wilderness – "prepare yourselves – Jesus is coming – enter the Royal Priesthood – take up the Cross!"

Finally, John said those remarkable words “He must increase and I must decrease” showing he did not grasp at power like Saul and knew when to stand down – that God’s season for him was over.

John was amazing. He was far from tame. He lived and ate wild, and shouted a wild message – almost nonsensical by the standards of Israel’s law. True forerunners will not be conventional and may be martyred. Today’s forerunners do a course run by men in a programme to get onto a team to become a ‘forerunner’, and then have conferences. It’s almost a disqualification in itself.

Enter the Wilderness: Kirk Bennett, prophetic teacher at the Kansas International House of Prayer says that God has been calling His new Priests to the wilderness like John. The wilderness also forged both David and Jesus, and Paul disappeared for years into the Arabian desert after his conversion. Those called to be a forerunner – a Melchizedek Priest and a last days prophet – will be called to the wilderness and will need to embrace it. It’s where mantles fall as we meet God face-to-face and emerge like Jesus, anointed.

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In the wonderful words of Rick Joyner:

"We don’t join the Church to become disciples – we become the Church when we are disciples!!"

The Dust of the Rabbi: Rueben Munn, of Auckland’s Shore Community Church, pointed out a wonderful old Jewish saying: “May you be covered in the dust of the Rabbi.” It means you are walking so closely behind your Rabbi that you get covered in the dust thrown up by his sandals.

The Greek word for disciple was ‘mathetes’ and these disciples were not mere hangers on! In Antioch where they were first called Christians, the word ‘Christianos’ meant ‘the Christ People’ or ‘little Christs’. As “Christ” means “anointed” this group was being called ‘the anointed ones’ by others. Imagine living so much like Jesus that pagans called you a ‘little Christ’. In order to be a true Christianos mathetes, we need to – we must – follow our Rabbi Jesus so closely we are covered in His dust. In that picture there is no room for following anyone else – no church pulpiteer, no programme – only our Shepherd (Jn. 10:4,27). He may send others to help guide us at times, but if your eyes are not fixed on Him we’ll end up following a human leader, which is idolatry. Jesus is the true and only Head of the Church.

Deut. 18:1,2,5 also gives a picture of what it means to be separated to God. All the tribes were given land except the Levites. They alone could eat from the sacrifices but they had no inheritance of their own. Their inheritance was God. Those disciples who are separated to God, whose only inheritance is God Himself, are a blessing to the rest of the House, though they may have no land of their own (Mt. 8:20). I saw that “possessing the land” in scripture always means the fleshly life. The land is to conquer – grow on – expand – it can be the soul as we deal with taming it. The Levites got no land because their job was in God and Spirit. He separated them away from the land of human affairs. ‘The land’ = ourselves and our circumstances. It’s not God, because we don’t possess God. The Levites tended God’s mountain (ie His government) – that was their inheritance. For God’s worshippers who have been set apart BY HIS HAND there will be little earthly inheritance. Paul, John, Mother Teresa – none were interested in extending their own tents but only His Kingdom because of love for Him.

We are Ambassadors: I learned at bible school that Alexander the Great was touring his army one day and came across a soldier asleep at his post. He asked the soldier his name – it was also Alexander. Alexander the Great told the soldier “Then you must either change your name or change your behaviour!” When Jesus builds His Church and the Bride begins to shine (and it has begun) then only true disciples covered in Jesus’ dust will be worthy of the name ‘Christian’. Church – we are ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven (Eph. 6:20). Paul said to imitate him as he also imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Look at the lives of Jesus and the apostles (not the modern church celebrity culture) and if you don’t reflect Him and His Kingdom, then either change your name or pray for your Rabbi to help change your behaviour! For not all who call Him Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 7:21-23).

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I was amazed when God showed me that the 3rd day of creation in Genesis reveals a link to the resurrection – the 3rd day of Jesus’ atonement for us. In Genesis it is the day the trees were made to bear fruit after their kind and the fruit carries its own seeds in itself.

Growing His Seed: Jesus is called the vine and we are His branches. The fruit of Jesus is the Church and we are to carry our own seed and reproduce after our kind, seed that will reproduce Him, ie true disciples – the “little Christs”. It’s obvious to anyone with eyes that the Church’s fruit is often corrupted (the tares look just like wheat except they turn black at maturity), and some seeds are not allowed to reproduce. In 2005 there was a protest at NZ’s Parliament over Monsanto’s plan to produce “terminator seeds” – seeds that produce a crop but the crop does not reproduce seeds. End-times students were discussing this 30 years ago – it would hold the world to ransom to have to perpetually buy seeds from the seed-owners in order to grow food. The idea has been related to the Apocalyptic Horseman Famine. However, in the Church there are seeds that are also not allowed to reproduce – women have been made terminator seeds, and yet women are the reproducers of the human race. Lack of proper reproduction in the Church is a corruption of the pattern of God from Genesis to discipleship. (See “House of Deborah” Eve’s God-Given Authority, and Hupotasso in Marriage.) It’s been said pastors should reproduce pastors, prophets should reproduce prophets, etc. When God gifts one and matures them into service (usually through an almighty breaking) that person is able to discern others with similar interests and gifts and help to disciple them into service. But with the hierarchy structure it doesn’t happen. There’s only room in a church for one pastor and one teacher (usually the same person in NZ churches) and one prophet (if that), with a few elders nowadays known as “the leadership team”. Like the secular system, people go to bible college and emerge with good marks in theology and become a pastor and start a new church where, once again, they’re the only pastor/teacher and everyone else is a spectator, a terminator seed useful only as a resource – what my friend’s church called the RGUs (revenue gathering units) to the horror of my friend.

In God’s real Church everyone is an anointed gifted servant of God being led by the hand of Jesus through every step of their lives, and the Body around them helps and supports them in whatever service God has called them to. We are knitted together into a beautiful tapestry where each thread is vital to the pattern – just like each blood cell and each atom is vital to our health. Jesus told us to make disciples (not merely converts) and that means reproducing after our kind. If God has made someone an intercessor, they can pass that on and they can discern who else has that seed in them. Likewise those with the seeds of the same plant will be attracted to those in full bloom. If God has made someone an evangelist, forging through tough turf to reach the lost, they aren’t going to know how to teach anyone to sit in prayer for hours, likewise a shepherd whose focus is on caring for those around them won’t be able to reproduce an evangelist whose focus is outside the flock. Nor will one with a budding gift of heavenly hospitality feel drawn to a fiery wild desert-dwelling prophet. Like attracts like and God has decreed that all life will reproduce after its own kind. It is vital that every member of His Body functions fully and reproduces fully in what He has called each member to become. God bless evangelists – they’re desperately needed and I pray to see them covering our streets like they were in the 70s. And God bless those with the warm gift of hospitality which is love and will outlast every other calling except worship. But give me the desert-dwelling prophet, visionary, and demon-fighter any day – it’s what I’m drawn to because it’s what God built into me. It’s what I do – but what I am is a worshipper. I spend as much time in silent retreat with Him as possible, wallowing in His love, panting for Him like David, desiring Him like the Shulamite, and pouring my oil of worship on His head like the prostitute, which helps feed the rest of the Body as well. Being in His presence is my purest joy and when I worship He shows me things – some of which are on this website. We’re being trained for eternity – our callings are infinitely more than being a wife or husband, having a good job and picket fence, and paying tithes and obeying a pastor. The Church needs to set her eyes on a higher realm – our true home. God is currently restoring to the Church a deeper awareness of Him.

False Disciples: We have a magnificent magnetic majestic Master and Lover who died to restore us to His immense love. He lived His every breath following His path and purpose. He did not submit to the religious authority of the day – that’s why they crucified Him. His disciples (and His forerunners) lived the same way. He told us to go and reproduce others like Him, true disciples, the ‘little Christs’ but instead the Church has taken the torture He endured and turned His unbelievable love for us into graceless rules of condemnation, pious strait-jackets, power-raking hierarchies, celebrities, merchandising, and terminator seeds. She has stabbed her Beautiful Bridegroom in the back. And still He loves and woos.

When God showed me this I was so upset I wept for the Church and prayed that God would infuse us with the knowledge of mutual submission because we need it like air so we can breathe His life into each other and reproduce His Body in His rich tapestry, every bit as interlinked as are the plants that give oxygen to us and the carbon dioxide we give to the plants. Their output is our input and vice versa. The symbiosis of God’s mutual submission is awe inspiring and He’s infused all life with it, including His Bride, from Genesis to the resurrection, from discipleship to the Trinity. (See also, God’s attributes are seen in His creation.) It’s been said that submission theology of the 1970s killed the Charismatic revival. That was because it was not the hupotasso – mutual submission – that God ordained and commands, but it was hierarchy and one-way submission to man. Without the symbiosis (eg between plants and the air-breathers), death comes quickly. We need God to revive us so we can reproduce Christ in us and make true disciples and become His true Body and Bride. And we need to recognize hupotasso. It’s what makes the Trinity the Trinity – separate but so entwined they are one. When we walk in God’s ways on God’s paths we’ll be entwined with Him as He is within the Trinity and entwined with each other in the same way – as united and knitted together as a body is. This was His prayer in Jn. 17 and it’s what brings the deepest love possible. THEN the world will see who He is and His Bride will live in the paradise that is Him.

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Mark’s gospel is said to be the account preached by Peter but recorded by Mark. It has Peter’s personality stamped all over it and is full of action. Modern churches have been sidetracked by Paul’s letters which, as great as they are, are out of balance without the gospels which are now rarely preached. I’ve even heard Paul described as the Leader of the Church – so what does that make Jesus? (Or, if we’re going for earthly examples, Peter or John?) Paul called himself the “least” and the “chiefest of sinners” and pointed always to Jesus as the only Head and clearly said that leaders must be servants. The gospels themselves give the best teachings of Jesus and how He lived. While other gospels show histories and greater details, Mark is an in-your-face bullet-point account of Jesus’ life and so gives a punchy clarity to His message. As the Church is called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, the following is a summary of those punches that rarely get taught from the pulpits.

Anointing Brings Reproach: Mk. 1:44 shows Jesus affirming God’s Law but discounting the structure of the leaders. The priests were wary of His power and message, yet when He performed a miracle He told the leper to go and show the priests and do what Moses commanded as a testimony to them. The testimony was that Jesus had authority from God and, despite how much that annoyed the priests, He also upheld the law of Moses. When we walk with God, we’ll have His anointing, but those involved in the man-made structure will never approve, despite our love for God and His commands. They will see it as rebellion because we don’t follow the establishment. They will never thank people for bringing a new message from God – that’s why they killed the prophets (Lk. 11:47). Israel had had no word from God for 400 years since Malachi. Then out of the blue comes John the Baptist who points to Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb of God and says he’s not worthy to tie Jesus’ shoe-laces. Jesus – the 2nd prophet in 400 years – then begins to perform many miracles. The priests had had 400 years of their own government and this “miracle-working prophet” was upsetting their apple-cart big time!

New Wineskins: Mk 2:16 shows that God goes to those who don’t follow the man-made structure and v 22 shows that He will not pour His coming new wine into the existing Church but into fresh wineskins. Verse 21 describes what history has shown – all outpourings of His Spirit have split the Church and brought divisions. As the scripture says, the new unshrunk cloth patch pulls away from the existing material and creates a bigger rip. This is happening with the millions of church leavers pursuing God outside the 4 walls because the tight church structure prevents them following their callings. They’ve ‘pulled away’ en masse. God showed me in 2006 that His Church will change shape, become such a fundamentally new creature – His Bride – that she will not have any of the old structures at all. He also told me that He’d reveal new Truths from His scriptures that have not yet been seen. In 2007 Malaysian prophet Jonathan David said the same thing, adding that non-Christians looking at the new Church would not even see how she had sprung from the old, there will be nothing that links them outwardly. He said the new Church will be utterly unrecognizable as having any part of the old. In 2008 I discovered that Kirk Bennett, prophetic teacher from the Kansas International House of Prayer had taught the same thing. The new wine promise of Mk. 2:22 will be radical indeed. What are the common threads He’s shown people? Mainly that the Church will leave the buildings. They will remember that the “Church” is actually the hearts of people that Jesus lives in as His Temple. They will return to the streets to serve others as they did in the Book of Acts, except the Former Rain of Acts, when the Church was born, will be a mere shadow of the Latter Rain of His coming move as His true glory is seen across the world for the first time – in children, street people, rich and poor, united in Spirit & Truth and the Person of God, not in doctrinal rules and opinions and a charismatic ‘leader’. (See also, The Unrecognizable Bride.)

Challenging Religion: In Mk. 2:25,26 He shows us how to react to accusers. When accused by the religious leaders of seemingly working on the Sabbath, He didn’t defend Himself but merely pointed out that what He did had already been done in scripture by one of their own heroes, King David, and that they themselves upheld this. But after revealing their own double standard He then went further and speared them by proclaiming Himself Lord of the Sabbath! (See Sabbath = Grace.) Jesus pulled no punches. Immediately afterwards in Mk. 3:1 they brought in a man in need of healing to test Jesus to see if He’d heal on the Sabbath so they could accuse Him. They set Him up. So He asked them a question which would reveal their hard hearts whichever way they answered. He set them up! So they refused to answer and His response was to angrily heal in their face! Verse 5 “After looking at them in anger … He said to the man ‘Stretch out your hand’ … and His hand was restored.” Instead of being impressed by the miracle the religious leaders quibbled over the rules, and from that time on they schemed to kill Him. It’s our duty to speak out the Truth and walk on the path that God has given us – it will generally be unpopular with religious leaders. The trick is to ensure it’s God’s message and not our own, and that comes from walking closely and humbly with Him in deep affection and relationship.

I experienced a similar thing once. On giving an opinion on an issue that I and a group were off to hear an international speaker preach on, I was strongly told I was wrong and why (which was mostly to do with my gender and Eve being deceived). As God would have it, within an hour the speaker quoted what I’d said literally word for word. He was highly respected by my group but somehow it made them angrier against me and they later surrounded me in their house in a kind of intervention. It was a spiritual backlash because I’d been proved right, their pride had been hurt, and their response was irrational. Pharisees will always be irrational when faced with Truth and Liberty. As the men paced around me like angry cult members, I was reminded of 1 Pt. 5:8 describing satan pacing like a roaring lion seeking to devour. The spiritual forces of religion, legalism, and witchcraft are intimately entwined. Later, an ‘elder’ in that group slapped me because a man had come to Christ through me which meant I’d been ‘teaching men’. The Church needs to live in the light!

Love & Hate Peak Together: Mk. 3:21,22 shows that at the height of His popularity, the accusations against Him also peaked (Kiwis know this as the Tall Poppy Syndrome, and as prophet Jill Austin said “revival and war are running mates”). His own family thought He’d gone mad and the religious leaders accused Him of using the power of satan, thinking that if demons obeyed Him, He must be their boss. (They couldn’t grasp that He was/is the boss of all creation.) This is the much discussed “unforgivable sin”. Many have asked what this mysterious sin is, including myself, so I was surprised to find it so clearly laid out in Mk. 3:28-30. The power behind Jesus’ miracles was the Holy Spirit and Jesus pointed out that it is unforgivable to say that the works of the Holy Spirit are actually the powers of satan. He said all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven “ ‘but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin’ because they were saying He has an unclean spirit.” How many times have Christians said that revivals are full of demonic power? There were many such accusations over the Lakeland revival in Florida in 2008. Yet that revival had 31 medically documented resurrections from the dead (more, but they only listed them officially if they were medically proven) and only God holds the keys of life and death – satan has no power over that. Wellington pastor Seth Fawcett spoke there and watched as around 11,000 people in a stadium sang a spontaneous song of only 3 words which swept back and forth among them “Holy – Jesus – Glory”. If nothing else, that shows the magnificent presence of God. I have 5 bits of ‘inside info’ around those God used at Lakeland – all positive but also looking through reality-coloured glasses. Whatever else happened there, it was the mighty Holy Spirit of God flying through that revival! The many (legalistic and downright vicious) detractors ‘might’ find themselves on the wrong end of Mk. 3:28-30. Terrifying! This is a dire warning from scripture to live in grace and love and leave the judgement to God – to “be wise as serpents but gentle as doves” (Mt. 10:16). If we follow in the wake of Jesus we will get accusations. If we don’t get crucified by the religious, we need to reassess whether we’re on God’s path or man’s path.

Test the Spirits to Gain the Growth: Mk. 4:23-28 warns us to guard our ears and be a light. It includes the verse “whoever has, more shall be given and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away.” This always seemed cruel until I realized that the context is about how we study and apply what we hear – the Amplified Bible brings this out well. Jesus was saying that we must weigh what we listen to carefully and depending on how much we take it to heart, God will grow it in us by that same measure, and more besides. If we hear God’s words of Life and pay them little attention then even what we have will be removed by satan, as Jesus said in the previous parable of the sower. But if we water His seeds in us, God will increase them even more, as He said in the following parable of God giving the growth. In other words, what we water is what grows! Verse 26 gives the Kingdom principle that what we sow we reap. In verse 30 Jesus says that the mustard seed (faith) will be given the biggest increase of all. He cites the birds nesting in it which comes from Ez. 17:23, 31:6, Ps. 104:12, and is also used in Dan. 4:12 where it holds the warning of fiery trials and prunings. 2 Tim. 2:15 says that when we study God’s word He will approve us. 1 Jn. 4:1 says to not believe every spirit we hear but to test them, and Luke said in Acts 17:11 that the Bereans did well because they received Paul’s words readily but then also weighed them against the scriptures of the Old Testament to make sure his teachings stacked up. Often in today’s church cultures people can be called rebellious if they question the teachings of the elders – many who do are invited to leave the congregation, even though scripture clearly says we should question, test, and study. This is another example of submission theology opposing scripture.

Law vs Liberty: In Mk. 7 Jesus is at it again, annoying the legalists to the depths of their beings, and calling the religious leaders hypocrites for putting their own rules above God’s commands. It’s vital that the Church learns to discern between what God teaches (His yoke is light – Mt. 11:30) and what men teach. Later in verse 19 He declares all foods clean – again challenging the system to the core. (I can’t help but laugh!) His parable of heaven being like a pearl would’ve had the same effect because shellfish were unclean under the law. Paul takes up the food issue in Col. 2:16 and 1 Cor. 8. Jesus and His people bring life and liberty – but those in darkness who desire control will always oppose the Spirit of Life (2 Cor. 3:6).

Salt, Fire, & Peace: Mk. 9:49 says we get our salt from fire. The Church is to be salt and light in the earth. Salt purifies, protects from decay, and is abrasive. Jesus says we get salted with fire, and tells us to protect our saltiness, while being at peace with each other. (This tells me there’s a balancing act between being salty, fiery, and peaceful.) Before He says this He gives a long list of warnings telling us to avoid stumbling blocks, either other people (v 42) or things in ourselves (v 43-v 48). Our salt, the fire of the Holy Spirit and of refinement, is precious and we burn with it while maintaining peace with each other. The passage in context implies that if we lose our salt we will be cast into hell. Heaven in us brings purity, lack of decay, and yes – abrasiveness. Jesus was not tame. Churches trying to be ‘relevant’ to the world are sprinting in the opposite direction to the true gospel. Our Saviour is glorious in His majesty, lowly and humble, utterly merciful, and the Prince of Peace. He also called the religious leaders hypocrites, tombs filled with death, nests of snakes, sons of satan, and smashed up the Temple. If our Truth comes from God it will never be relevant to the world or the religious – it’ll be abrasive and fiery and we must actively balance that with the peaceable gospel walk – where possible.

For more on the Jesus that Mark’s gospel reveals, I highly recommend the book ‘Jesus Mean and Wild’ by Mark Gillies. See Recommended Resources on the home page for details.

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As God raises the awareness of holiness in His Church, people are realizing how destructive negative speech is. I don’t mean speaking the Truth, eg Jesus calling the Pharisees hypocrites, I mean moaning, complaining, gossiping, and shallow or prideful talk. Having critical lips grieves the Holy Spirit and Joyce Meyer teaches that the word used for grief is the same that is used for when a spouse cheats on their partner. It’s the deepest level of grief. The Holy Spirit has deep deep sadness over critical Christians. It’s said we’re in the Laodicean church-age in eschatology and Loadicea means ‘judgement’ according to some, ‘rulership by people’ according to others. There are many sitting in judgement on others, ruling over people not in truth but merely in opinion, and I’ve heard it preached that overseas speakers notice its prevalence in NZ. We have a reputation for having churches run by teacher/pastors, which internationally respected Lower Hutt pastor, Seth Fawcett, called “soulish” saying it feeds the mind/soul but not the heart/spirit. It has created a spirit of intellectual debate and division – a spirit already embedded in NZ culture and our world has infected His Church. (See The Human Realms – Soul and Spirit for more on soulish faith, and Civil War for more on Laodicea.)

My friend and bible teacher, Marcus Ardern, has preached for 3 decades globally and has seen the different church idiosyncrasies around the world. Along with Yonggi Cho, he’s said that judgementalism (legalism) in NZ churches is a national problem and must be repented of nationally, but that part of the problem is the Kiwi desire to get things right. I believe God’s ‘rightness’ in us only comes through His truth and grace, not our opinions and argument techniques. We are a nation of debaters – even advertisers have studied this in our national psyche. But what looks clever to the soul grieves the Holy Spirit like a spurned lover. Paul told us not to argue over doctrines because it leads to the ruin of the hearers. Jesus said our unity is what will show the world that He exists. Yet people continue with clever rhetoric using the Sword of the Spirit to stab at their brethren. Like Laodicea, the critical spirit has brought poverty to those who think they’re rich.

A Vision: Once while lost in worship I saw black things inside myself that looked like coal. On asking what they were He told me they were hurts (not all mine) and I knew that they were literally the “rocks in my love-feast” that Jude 12 speaks of. They literally hinder the flow of God and I’m constantly aware of God flowing easily with my spirit. 1 Thess. 5:16-18 says it’s God will that we rejoice and give thanks, and I spend a lot of time being grateful for His magnificent presence. But in 2008 I was around more moaning people – both men and women – than ever before in my life (I mostly haven’t been around it that much). People gossiped and griped and I realized God was giving me a lesson because I began to notice that if I spent too much time listening to dark words, even if trying to show support to others in pain, it began to hinder that flow of God in me. A harsh deposit fell, like the sharp-edged black coals that were rocks in my love-feast. The dark words were habitual gossip and general carping. It’s been said that a critical spirit is the biggest and fastest killer of the presence of God. It brings great grief to the gentle Holy Spirit Who eases away. Shortly after seeing the vision of the coals in myself I heard Joyce Meyer say that murmuring creates enormous blocks to God and she pointed out that in Num. 21 He was killing the Israelites for their murmuring until Moses intervened. In Jn. 3:14 Jesus said the passage portrayed the need for His Cross – if the lesson on moaning is so strong, it must be important. Jas. 1:3 tells us our trials produce patience which matures us. The word for patience is “hupomoné” also spelt “hypomoné” and means “the ability to withstand pressure”. It’s been said that without “hypomoné” people become hyper-moanie. Yes it’s trite, but it’s true. Moaning and grumbling, whether doing it, or hearing too much of it, is a spiritual killer, as Numbers shows.

It’s impossible to BE with God – to abide with Him heart to heart as we are meant to – if we complain and criticize, or even if we’re around others who do. It’s why Paul gives the wonderful list in Phil. 4:8 of all the beautiful things to rest our minds on. ‘Abiding’ means being in His presence and that place is only beauty and warmth – not moaning and gossip. I began to find that being around too much of that sort of talk felt like a crowbar coming between me and His sweetness. It began to physically hurt me to hear that garbage. So I learned a great lesson on the fine line between being supportive, and not tolerating a destructive tongue. I’ve learned to avoid it as Elijah ran from Jezebel. I know people sometimes have pain and we must weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15) – but it's Jesus who is the burden bearer for all, and wisdom will divide personal disasters from overblown petty gripes. It must hurt Abba to be ignored by His children when they're in need! (But why pray when you can moan?) I believe the reason things go awry is because people are working in their own strength and ideas, and God is shaking many to lead them back to Himself so they can learn directly from Him and find rest at the same time. Jas. 3:10 says bitter and sweet waters must not come from the same mouth. The only answer to those who habitually gossip or criticize, and who will not try to follow Phil. 4:8, is to leave that environment (see End Times Prophecies – Scroll 1). Jesus and the disciples warned of error and false teachers, but habitual criticism is different – it’s petty and shows a lack of alignment with God and will interfere with His Spirit in us. We must use our tongues to edify. Sometimes that means warning of error, mostly it means speaking life and light. Never will it mean habitually moaning over petty gripes.

The Bride has a mandate to be the oracle of God, speaking only with His utterances (1 Pt 4:11). Jesus was an oracle – He spoke only what He heard His Father saying – and we follow in His steps IF we are His disciples. We must guard our tongues and our ears (1 Pt. 3:10, Jas. 3:10-11, Mk. 4:24). Phil. 4:8 is wonderful advice. See also Melchizedek: The Royal Priesthood – Being an Oracle.

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Phil. 3:2 calls false brethren “dogs, evil doers, false circumcision” and v 3 says “the true circumcision” worship in Spirit, have no faith in the flesh (they know their own strength is as filthy rags) and they glory in Christ (not a pastor, a movement, or a church). One of the distinguishing marks about the true Church is that when they testify, the hero of their story will not be themselves or their pastor, but Jesus. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would testify of Him. Those with Jesus as their focal point are moving towards revival – those who glory in their own flesh, pastor, or church, are moving away from revival. In the coming move of God, the Spirit will also restore the majesty of Christ’s Name. When His people have the same focus – Him – and only have eyes and hearts for Him – then His Body will be unified. Our unity is prophesied and assured, but it’ll never happen through doctrine alone, but through the Person of Jesus and His love.

Historic Restorations: After the Church was birthed in Acts, then taken over by hierarchy, politics, and power and the world went through the Dark Ages (so called because the light had gone out of the Church), God began to restore His Truths bit by bit and with each restoration came a revival. There were the Desert Fathers who left Rome and hit the desert to live in monasteries in order to maintain the simplicity and biblical faith of the early Church in Acts. Their legacy lives on and has been picked up by Pete Grieg and the “new monastics” of the global 24/7 prayer movement.

Magnificent Mystics: There were the Christian Mystics who, through the ages, God has pulled into a deep deep relationship with Himself. These were people like Madame Guyon (jailed in the Bastille by the Church for her teaching on the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus), St Julian of Norwich (who wrote her famed ‘Revelations of Divine Love’), St Francis of Assisi, ex soldier and womanizer, to whom God instructed “rebuild My Church for it is in ruins.” When Francis left his village to rebuild a broken monastery nearby he left everything behind, including his clothes. Stripping in the town square, he walked out naked with nothing – and with everything – God. Given that God’s Church is His people, and Francis had the rebuilding mandate, I believe the Spirit that God poured through him was the historic turning point between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. There was also St Clare, Francis’ soul-mate, who ran an Abbey nearby and was already feeding lepers while Francis was still a drunkard. God poured many other ‘revivals’ into individual people during this era, and He still is. Brennan Manning in ‘Ruthless Trust’ quotes Karl Rahner (p 65) “In the days ahead, you will be a mystic, ie one who has experienced God, or nothing at all”. On p 69 he cites fourteenth century mystic Catherine of Sienna who was made a Doctor of the Church because of the depth of her writings on spiritual life. When asked to describe God she whispered “He is crazed with love, drunk with love.” Our modern pulpiteers know nothing of the intense desire of our God – extreme enough to die on a Cross – they are sidetracked by ongoing exegesis and the search for ‘facts’. It is a good foundation but still “dry bones” compared to the living water of His severe passion to embrace us. The Church needs to make the leap from the Tree of Knowledge to the Tree of Life and if the pulpiteers won’t do it then individual Christians must do it themselves with God. The “mystery of Christ” is where the Christian Mystics live, and there is nothing – but nothing – as beautiful. At a Jill Austin meeting she saw the church doors open and Jesus walk in. At the same time a 10-year-old boy fell on his face and cried out “He’s so beautiful, He’s so beautiful.” It’s what the world needs to see and it doesn’t come from ‘facts’ on a page but from having our eyes opened to the intense dazzling beauty of the mystery of the Living Word.

If you google Christian Mystics you’ll get a long list of people, and more recently the names of some who have merely been given prophetic insight or a teaching. But – no – a mystic is one who God Himself has blended His own heart with – one so melted into Him their entire lives are consumed by desire for Him. It’s the deepest love possible – and He wants it with us all.

Recent Restorations: Later came larger outpourings such as the Protestant Reformation which rebirthed the truth of salvation by faith and grace, the 1800s saw the Evangelist Revivalists like Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight L Moody, and over the centuries a handful of major shifts took place as God shook His Church. However, 1906 saw the Asuza St Revival in Los Angeles – which birthed the Pentecostal churches and restored the focus on the Holy Spirit. Asuza Street was ignited after a minister visited the 1904 Welsh Revival. But by 1905 God was pouring out His Spirit in pockets around America as well – missions were born, the deep prayer of intercession was remembered, His gifts and miracles were abundant and there were complaints that upper class white women and common black men were falling in the Spirit together and lying prone across each other. In the 60s the Jesus Freak revival of the hippies was global. Hippies were everywhere and humanity was by now wealthy enough to travel and study. We saw the Holy Lands, we learned the Hebrew and Greek, we drove everywhere in hippy vans preaching the love of Christ and playing Christian folk songs on guitars – and so the Charismatic Renewal was born. Since then we’ve had the Toronto Blessing, the Pensecola Revival, small localized outpourings, major moves of God in Africa with Reinhard Bonnke seeing over a million people in one gathering, resurrections from the dead (in the Lakeland revival of 2008 there were 31 medically documented resurrections), many miraculous outpourings in India (in 2006 300,000 were baptized in one week in one area alone – the largest mass baptism on record), outpourings in the Philippines with young children laying on hands and healing people.

Rapid Outpourings: Jesus has been appearing sovereignly to Muslims, turning up in their dreams, bedrooms, and lounge-rooms. As devout people they have converted, been shunned, and endangered their lives for Him. In Tonga in 2008 there was a mini-revival where the Spirit swept over the Island and the Christian radio station was inundated with calls from people sobbing wanting to find God – including inmates illegally using cell-phones to phone the station from prison, sobbing and wanting God. The station had no room to play music as the calls kept coming and then children from around the island began to report having dreams that Jesus was returning soon. In October 2008 in Honduras, people began to hit the streets and walk in search of a church wanting to find God. Those coming out of the jungles at night said their way was lit by lights that appeared above their heads. Passing ships saw the same lights. Wonders and miraculous healings occurred in the meetings. It was so widespread the media even reported on it. In April 2008 in Levin, New Zealand a mini-revival occurred and last for about 4 months. It also had people walking off the street into the Assembly of God church in search of God. They were drawn there by the power of God. Many were saved and God showed His love in physical healings as His Spirit poured into people.

He is up to something! He poured out His Spirit to restore a Truth every few hundred years, which became every few decades in the 1900s and is now concurrently happening in mini-outpourings everywhere around the world. I sense they will get more frequent and bigger until they all join together in the harvest that so many are preaching and prophesying about. His puddles of Living Water will increase until they merge into a pool and the “earth will be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). God is shaking His Church to be ready to reap the harvest – the current structure could not cope with it but the Church with no walls – those new unseen millions on the streets outworking God’s callings directly under God’s hand, are being prepared.

Equal Backlash: God showed me a pattern about revivals. The Holy Spirit has restored Truths throughout history, periodically swept through and shaken the Church. Each time this has happened the accompanying revivals then ground to a halt when people turned Spiritual revelation into legalistic rules, took the steering wheel from God, and put Him in a box – the result being yet another denomination based around whatever Truth God had restored. After each move of God is a backlash of satan. The 70’s revival of the Jesus Freaks brought the Charismatic Renewal, and the shepherding/discipleship movement was a backlash of legalism which brought in the covering and submission doctrine and forced God’s people to submit to men and not Christ. When the pendulum finally swung back again (and pendulums always swing too far before they even up) the Church went through another mini-revival in the 90s which had an emphasis on prophets, intercessors, resurrection Throneroom power, but not so much on the Cross. Paul refused to preach anything but Christ crucified, or glory in anything but Christ’s sufferings (1 Cor. 2:2, Gal. 6:14) and the 1990s focus on the power of the Throne created the ‘leadership’ hierarchies and birthed a certain arrogance regarding gifts and ministries. People fell into works and human strength and it caused a triple dose of flesh and the focus on spiritual techniques (which is occultic). We now have a Christian celebrity culture (just like the world – how ‘relevant’), prophets who’ve confused prophecy with decree and shout decrees over cities out of their own hearts and call it prophesying, but it’s not a word that has come into them from God (Ez. 13:1-15). Some intercessors even teach that it’s possible to break the power of sin over a region through prayer. If we can break sin then Christ died in vain – it’s blasphemy! The only reason our prayers have any weight with God is because Jesus died for us – the only reason we can use His Name is because of the Cross. To take on board the role of breaking sin is gross error!

Some intercessors are using all manner of strange techniques to fight demons, including signing declarations and throwing salt, but they don’t actually teach on using the power of the Blood and Name of Jesus. Salt, red wine, and secret signed declarations to use against satan are taught in ‘The Bride Has Made Herself Ready’ (Jubilee Resources Int.) by its author and those around him. Sadly, I have seen these things written up in many black magic conjuration rituals (not just witchcraft or occultism, but actual black magic). As God would have it, I came across people who’d had salt thrown on them by Jubilee-trained Christians, to purify them. So much for the Blood of Christ – the only purifier! One of my primary gifts is spiritual warfare and I’ve bound many demons and broken many curses. I’ve never signed a piece of paper, thrown salt, or poured red wine to keep the devil at bay. Nor have I shouted and stamped up a storm. Demons care nothing for decibels (in fact, in Greek idolatry, the louder and more frenzied the better). Whipped-up human emotion/soul power – if it’s used as a power-base – is a demon’s personal jacuzzi. They enjoyed it in paganism and still enjoy it in voodoo. But they are powerless against one person who walks with, and leans on, Christ (Acts 19:13-16). For more on human soul power vs higher faith, see Overview: Soul and Spirit - 2nd and 3rd Heavens, and Scroll 2, Faith, under End Times Prophecies. The backlash of the 70s revival was false submission and the backlash of the 90s revival was false power/occultism.

The Harvest Revival will Bring the Biggest Backlash: What God was pointing out to me by showing me the revival/backlash pattern, was that when His Spirit comes in power the aftermath of legalism is in proportion to the strength and focus of the revival. This is also what Jesus meant when He said in Mt. 12:43-45 that “their end will be worse than their beginning.” In that passage He taught that after a demon is cast out it wanders around looking for another landing site, doesn’t find one, so returns to the place it left. If the ‘room’ (eg the person, the revival, the Church, the generation) is left clean but empty the demon gathers up 7 others stronger than itself and gatecrashes back in. After a revival when God stirs everything up and cleans up His people – if they don’t fill themselves with Him (if they focus on His power or gifts or those who were leaders in the revival, but don’t recognize Who is in their midst and fall in love with Him in worship and merge in relationship) they are left empty enough for the darkness to return 8-fold. Hence many churches’ current focus on shallow power and celebrity.

Jesus was very adamant about showing me this and He showed the immense danger in the final revival and how the false church will be merely a mirror of it – the other side of the same coin. It’s why He needs to build up His humble ones, those who can withstand the onslaught of temptation, and it’s why many Christians are going through violent shakings right now.

Many people, including uncharacteristically Billy Graham, have said New Zealand will be a main player in the end-times revival. We have had a disproportionate number of prophets visit here from overseas, and have sent out a disproportionate number of missionaries. Yonggi Cho said that NZ is earmarked by God for leading global revival but that the NZ Church needs to be cleansed and sanctified, to repent of its contentions, divisions, and empire building (shown on revivalist Craig Marsh’s DVD, ‘What on Earth is God Doing?’).

What is the Answer? We need to cling to Jesus, know our weaknesses, and not seek the approval of men but of God (Acts 5:29). It’ll look like rebellion to those men who demand allegiance to men, but it’s a cure for the seduction of satan in the false church. Micah 6 says to “show justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God” and Jesus said “love God and love each other”. Have faith like a little child and pray and worship in Spirit & Truth (not in our own soul and opinion). We’re called to take up our Cross and die to ourselves – Jesus must be our only goal and Gal. 2:20 is our path to get there!

In his book ‘The Harvest’ (pp 63,13) prophet and teacher, Rick Joyner said “There will be a great movement to return the Church to the Biblical simplicity for Church life, structure, and government … Christianity is not a formula, it is a relationship with Christ” and “Jesus is the Ark in Whom we find deliverance … we must now return to our first love and never again be beguiled from the simplicity of devotion to Christ.”

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Currently the culture of the Church has put Jesus’ 2nd Commandment before the 1st. We’re taught to serve people, but we’re not taught to serve God. If it’s impossible to meet Jesus without adoring Him (and it is) it makes me wonder how many in the Church know Him deeply when the primary focus is on submission to hierarchies rather than relationship with God.

Mt. 23:23-24 was one of the scriptures God gave me when I asked for confirmation against this nicolaitan dogma – “woe to the scribes and Pharisees … they strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” When I asked how good people could be involved in such error I saw how being under this type of spiritual umbrella is like catching a cold, it can spread by osmosis like a disease which is how sensible people end up in cults. Immediately God showed me a deeper meaning to “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” and why Jesus said “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees” (ie, the legalists). People take on the leaven around them and we must beware of legalistic leaven (Mt. 16:6, Mk. 8:15, Lk. 12:1). In Mt. 23:15 Jesus warned evangelists who follow legalism rather than grace, saying “you travel sea and land to make one convert, but when he becomes one, you make him twice the son of hell as yourselves.” It’s a strong warning to churches and Christians who focus on works and rules rather than a relationship with God – which is the purpose of grace. The end times harvest won’t happen until the Church becomes the sort of place God can bring the multitudes into. Currently, we lack His love.

In ‘Turn Your face Into The Wind’ (a prophecy endorsed by Derek Prince) God told David Minor “I cannot tolerate My Church in its present form, nor will I tolerate it.” He said a wind of Holiness would blow through the Church and shake and destroy everything not built on Jesus – all the traditions of men so prevalent in the modern churches. People would try to hide from the shaking and believe it was of satan. After that another wind of Kingdom Power would blow through and people would try to flow with it, but only those who went through the first wind – the shakings – would be able to. God will not give His power to the unbroken who use it in their own strength to the destruction of many. For the full prophecy see Other End Times Prophecies > Turn Your Face Into The Wind.

It’s said we are living in the Church age of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22). Jesus has made it clear both in scripture and in prophecy to myself and others that many of our current church structures have no room for Him (I speak of the Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic (EPC) traditions, not the ‘traditional’ churches people like to think of as rule-bound!) We are cold, structured, blind, ruled by the ways of men, and Jesus stands on the outside of His own Church and knocks to come in. Yet the promise of this verse is the greatest of all – “whoever overcomes I will grant for him to sit down with me on my Throne.” We’ll overcome by paying the cost of gold refined by fire, and the cost of opening our eyes so we can follow Jesus closely, and not a person, programme, or institution. That’s why He’s shaking so many structures and so many people right now. Not to mention He is shaking the world. Get ready to abandon the structured ship and walk on water – only possible when staring into the face of the King. Jesus’ life shows that our preparation for this includes being driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. There is much the Church needs to unlearn and have shaken out of her! A friend told me a wonderful saying: “You’ll swallow a lot of water while you’re learning to walk on it.” Yet we will learn – and will gain His Throne – IF we open our eyes and see that much of the man-made church structures we think are so successful, are poor, wretched, and naked.

Manning on Grace vs Law: Here’s a quote from the wonderful Brennan Manning (ex Franciscan Priest who has lived in caves for spiritual retreat, and wrote the famed book ‘The Ragamuffin’s Gospel’). In the preface of his book ‘Ruthless Trust’ he says:

“The ragamuffin resonates to the Pauline’ cry, ‘I know who it is that I have put my trust in’ (2 Tim. 1:12). The felt knowledge of the tenderness of Jesus that lifts us, scarred and depressed after sin, gently to Himself is the very soul of ragamuffin spirituality… she quickly repents, offers the broken moment to the Lord, and renews her trust in the Messiah of sinners. She knows that Jesus is comfortable with broken people who remember how to love. Alert to the manipulations and machinations of pharisaical self-righteousness, ragamuffins refuse to surrender control of their lives to rules and regulations. They see that the stale religiosity of legalists, trapped in the fatal narcissism of spiritual perfectionism, obscures the face of the God of Jesus. They will not barter their souls for the false security of fear-filled pieties that cripple the human spirit. … ‘Live free or die’ is the ragamuffin motto.”

Those words make my heart leap with joy and my spirit soar like an eagle. They show His true love with us and the grace which soars through the heavens above the mud-bound religious law. Spiritually speaking, if we’re not free we’re already dead, for “the letter [of the law] kills” (2 Cor. 3:6).

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Over the last few years the global EPC (Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic) churches have for some reason (I have my suspicions) created an enormous emphasis on marriage, claiming that family is God’s pattern for the Church. I considered this and decided that scripture and common sense show it’s wrong. The first question is that if it’s so important why didn’t Jesus model it? Why did He not marry and/or carry out His ministry from the bosom of a family? He did neither. He went on the road. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the family – especially the nuclear one so espoused by EPC churches – is God’s pattern. I began to see that these preachers are devotees of the 1950s. Catholics revere celibacy and Evangelicals revere marriage but to most in between it’s not an issue.

An Unscriptural Message: The next considerations are that Peter left his wife to go out and be an apostle (Mt. 19:27), and that Jesus said in Mt. 19:11-12 it’s better to become a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven and not marry, but if that’s too difficult then it’s OK to marry. Paul also said in 1 Cor. 7:7-9, 32-35 that when people are single they are wholly devoted to God, and when they are married they are devoted to their spouse and their devotion is divided.

I’ve even heard it preached that marriage is eternal and Christians will remain married throughout eternity. It’s an overly sentimental idea, and opposed to scripture because Jesus taught in Lk. 20:34,35 that there is no marriage in heaven! I believe Jesus and Paul, when discussing marriage, opted for the celibate lifestyle for the sole reason that if we’re seeking His Kingdom on earth and in ourselves, we should follow the eternal pattern which is that there’ll be no marriage in heaven except to our beautiful Bridegroom.

However, Jesus also points out that celibacy is a gift (He says “to whom it is given”) and someone’s got to “go forth and multiply”. But where on earth does this idea come from that marriage is God’s primary plan? Scripture is clear that it isn’t, but as for the churches’ emphasis I only have my opinion. It’s clear that it’s driven by the US Evangelicals who push marriage as a cure for everything from apostasy to suicide (as has been preached on Christian radio Rhema). The message has come strongly into NZ due to our Christian media’s ties with the US mega-church celebrity culture and the extremely conservative para-church organizations which have sprung up such as US Christian-political group Focus on the Family which, along with related groups, was given over $1 billion by the Bush administration because the conservative Evangelicals were GW Bush’s primary voters. Thus, their minority voice has grown extremely loud.

Tangled Logic: Their message is ‘woolly’. What they teach as God’s choice is actually the 1950s US golden age of the nuclear marriage – 2.4 children and the white picket fence, the wife at home and the husband at work. Within this message it is often stated that women should not work and wives and children should obey the father completely and that he has complete authority, as “head” of the house (a mistranslation – see 1 Corinthians: Dealing with the covering myth and Deliberate Mistranslations). This is more woolly thinking because the Pr. 31 wife is often held up as an example and yet she works, earns, and runs her own real estate business. A French study on the 2008-09 global recession found that companies run by women or with women in senior positions, did better than those without due to the female focus on risk mitigation. Iceland was hardest hit, losing 85% of its businesses. The one company that was not affected at all was run by 2 women with strong risk-checks. Yet churches emphasizing marriage often say that ‘godly’ women should not work (despite logic, evidence, and Pr. 31). So my suspicion as to the birth of this dogma is that it springs from hierarchy theorists who push the submission theology that, it’s said, already killed the move of God after the Jesus Freak revival of the 1970s (see see Cindy Jacobs’ prophecy ‘Forerunners Revival in NZ’ under Other End Times Prophecies). The message is also woolly because it doesn’t take into account that most cultures, including Israel, have an extended family not a nuclear one. In NZ it’s called the “whanau”. Celts, Mediterraneans, Middle-Easterns, even the English due to being an ancient culture, have a much stronger focus on community and wider family, closer to our whanau, than the nuclear family of the US’s 1950s golden age would account for. Another piece of ‘woolly thinking’ around this (quite apart from the scriptures that oppose it) is that the so-called golden age of the picket fence was the very era that brought “suburban neurosis” for women as they were cut off from society, staying at home with men working longer and longer hours to buy the feel-good things that kept them up with the Joneses. It was a pendulum swing to materialism after 2 world wars and the Great Depression. It was also the era that saw these “perfect stay home wives” find their only comfort in what came to be called “mother’s little helper”, ie valium. The era created spiritual depression in wives and ample opportunity for adultery for their stay-out husbands. The 2009 award-winning TV series ‘Mad Men’ typifies this era which, in living memory, outstripped the Victorians for puritanical white-washed facades and blind hypocrisy. And church groups claim that this is God’s pattern for family and/or life?! The 1950s inspired the enormous backlash against materialism and shallow appearances that spawned the hippy revolution which ushered in the age of love and liberty which then split into 2 parts – corruption on one side and godly revival on the other.

The Stepford Church: The current EPC church emphasis on marriage is entirely wrapped up in the 1950s US version of nuclear family. The untra-conservative groups are trying to restore a purity that the world has lost, by clinging to old ways that didn’t work. God told me decades ago during communion “Purity is not Piety”. Purity wasn’t lost in the 1960s – it was lost in Eden and seeking to restore it through piety will never work. I see the version of marriage that the EPC churches currently emphasize as loudly as possible, to be closer to The Stepford Wives than to scripture and those espousing it seek to create a Stepford church as shown by their equally loudly shouted dogma on robotic submission and outward perfectionism. This is not God’s way.

Note: If you have not heard of the famous 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives, google it – the term has come to mean much in popular culture including being used in modern music and as a common term for cultural comment. In a nutshell, the Stepford concept depicts an outwardly perfect, yet mindless, heartless, lifeless slave. A good-looking zombie – a copy created by murdering the free-willed original person. It’s an an apt description of man’s creation murdering God’s creation, and is a picture of the apostate church which is already in its adolescence! (See web-links under Ephesians: Dealing With False Submission.)

The Taliban Gospel?: Certain churches have been shouting so loudly about this style of marriage that it has come to the ears of the secular world. Reality TV interviewed a US (so-called) ‘Christian’ family that gives total authoritarian control to the father whom the wife and children must obey completely, with the daughters forbidden to train for employment as their only place is to serve their future husbands. Sound like the Taliban? Sadly, it’s Stepford churchianity. In April 2009 Christian radio, Rhema, aired an interview with 17 such families applying for immigration to NZ from the US – their counterparts already here – with the intention of setting up a community of like-minded people (Stepfordville). While people may do whatever they like within their own families – outside of abuse – they may not claim this is God’s directive. (Arguably this is abuse because the theology has caused a new genre of counseling for ‘spiritual abuse’ that has grown out of need as Christian women are increasingly physically battered for ‘insubmission’. God miraculously used me intervene in such a situation – see Murder Attempt.) In stumbling across the radio interview that covered the total authority of the husband/father, shortly after seeing the documentary on the same, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an obscure verse “call no man father except your Father in heaven” (Mt. 23:9). People who follow that scripture in these families would be seen as rebellious. That makes families who believe this way closer to a cult than to God, His scripture, or His liberty. Not only that but if Boaz had not submitted to Ruth by agreeing to “do all that she said” we would not have the genealogy of Jesus that we have. God obviously knew better than to put Ruth in the path of a Stepford church husband. The Mt. 23 passage also says “do not be called leaders, for One is your leader, that is Christ” (v 10). Yet the Taliban gospel gives total control to the man over everyone in the house and Jesus is not given His rightful place. Jesus also said if we love father, mother, sister, brother more than Him we are not worthy of Him (Mt. 10:37). Now what would the Fat Controllers think of that?!

Clearly this current loud emphasis is simply unbiblical error and my opinion of why it is so strongly promoted, despite opposing scriptures, is that those promoting it are, I notice, devoted to male hierarchy and have a strong belief that God’s Kingdom looks like 1950s America. It doesn’t! For a wealth of scholastic literature and scripture on this subject (apart from those above) see House of Deborah.

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The term ‘new wine’ is currently being thrown around – mostly because the Church has become aware that God is doing a new thing and people are being filled with wonders they previously hadn’t dreamed of. God gives to us beyond all we can think or imagine (Eph. 3:20).

Pete Grieg (founder of the 24/7 prayer movement, and coiner of the phrase “new monastics”) writes in ‘Punk Monk’ that God is pouring out new wine but asks “where are the new wineskins?” He points out that if we don’t change to embrace the new thing God is doing (but merely try to fit it into our existing faith) the new will tear away from the old, and that the old wineskins (churches) will be damaged as they try to contain something that can’t fit their present protocols. They will also miss the blessings poured out if they’re not flexible enough to provide the space for them. The millions of church leavers are exactly that – while God leads them directly they are lost blessings to inflexible churches. The parable Jesus uses of old wineskins shows they can’t be flexible. Grieg tells of a young ex-Muslim convert who then converted hundreds of other Muslims to Christ. These people had no preconceptions of Christianity and loved the gospel. Eventually a local pastor heard of the mini-revival and with good intentions tried to fit all the new converts into his structured home-group system. It killed the momentum and within a year most had fallen away from the faith. Grieg says “By seeking to squeeze new wine into an old wineskin, that pastor did damage to both.” He asks whether the Church will encourage the new moves of God and “morph to resource its pioneers in spite of the mess, or sue to maintain a monopoly on ministry within the walls of Sunday morning and the incumbent priestly elite”.

Some are claiming the ‘new wine’ term to endorse their own empire or movement and are actually old wineskins bringing so-called ‘new wine’ messages heavily laced with opinion and control – rather than grace and one-on-one love for the Shepherd. New wine is about following Jesus in true discipleship but I’ve seen old wineskins picking up the term and mixing it with their own brand. Like the lukewarm church, this will be spewed out by Jesus.

As for new wine messages, they do oppose the traditions of men that have risen in the modern churches over the last 30 years. Jesus also opposed legalism. The new wineskins know it’s controversial, but far from taking a soap-box stand (as old wineskins do) new wineskins grieve like Jeremiah for those who follow controversy, division, legalistic rules. They know that to stand for those things is to stand against God’s ways and will incur judgement. The seriousness of the situation (not to mention maturity of spirit born through the crushing fiery trials that create new wineskins) removes any adolescent glee over rocking other peoples’ boats. Paul said we’re to speak the truth in love. Jesus stood against the old wine of the Pharisees, but He also wept over them because His desire was not to berate them but to love them – but they wouldn’t have it.

Old Wine in Disguise: I once attended a talk with a well known speaker and regular guest on Radio Rhema – a real soap-box activist (introduced jovially as “someone who couldn’t agree with himself more”) – and watched him divide the church in half using pride and manipulation. His message was so-called new wine and he preached that God’s people must be wholehearted, which is good. But his premise was that if each Christian does not take another person under their wing to disciple them face-to-face, “skin-on-skin” they were not a real Christian – not a follower but only a believer. He got people to stand if they would do it, thereby ‘outing’ those who were honest enough to admit that they were supposedly not ‘proper’ Christians. This kind of pride and division is abhorrent to God. I tried to point out to him that perhaps single parents, people working 2 jobs to survive, the elderly or infirm, could not do this. His response was aggressive and had no substance. He couldn’t answer, he could only growl, and he bent down into my face to do it – an aggressive move by any psycho-social-behavioural standard. His premise is also evangelist-focused and denies the abilities of intercessors, prophets, worshippers – those others who live closer to the Holy of Holies and deal with God, than to the Outer Court and deal with people. One of the ways to tell fake new wine is to see if it comes from people grand-standing or an organization using the term as a title. This did both. But throughout history God’s truest followers have been isolated and at the bottom of the pile – David, Elijah, Jesus, all the apostles, and a myriad of martyrs. The heroes of faith in Heb. 11 were not members of fancy organizations with people following their every word! They were rejected and abused. Like Jesus. In Mt. 10:25 Jesus said His disciples would be maligned because He was maligned, and the business-driven church with its focus on celebrity, soap-boxes, titles, and labels is very far from new wine.

A Fresh Word: During my time on the altar in His refiner’s fire I was aware that God was painfully undoing me from the inside out so He could fill me afresh and unmixed. After the fires died down I found 1 Pt. 1:5-8 – a verse given to me in prophecy long ago which now makes sense (I hadn’t known at the time it was given to me that it was scripture). The “joy inexpressible and full of glory” is a direct result of the refiner’s fire and of being emptied of the old so I could receive the new. (See also, Personal Worship.) Malaysian prophet Jonathan David, at a seminar in November 2009, said God is bringing a fresh word – opening His scripture in ways that have been hidden throughout history until now. Those following the old (existing) pattern cannot hear the new directions. God is calling His Melchizedek Priests into total devotion to Him. This is the new wine message! It’s a dove-eyed focus on the Saviour. I’m told that doves can only focus on one thing at a time which is why The Beloved in the Song of Songs praises the Shulamite maiden for her dove’s eyes, as she focuses on her Beloved. The new focus is happening to millions around the world – God is shaking people out of their old mind-sets, hence the “phenomenon” of Christians, whether church leavers or not, serving God in the streets and fixing their eyes only on Jesus.

In his book ‘The Harvest’ (p 87) Rick Joyner says “After we have tasted [the new wine] we will never again be content with the lifeless water of mere formulas and principles, contrived by the minds of those who substitute mental gymnastics for the ways of the Spirit.” HALLELUJAH!!

Purity vs Mixture: God once told me during communion “Purity is not Piety”. Around that time my prayer group received a series of prophetic messages (the Scrolls) which are now also coming through people like Rick Joyner who even uses the same terms such as “cloak of humility” which Jesus revealed to him directly as being the highest honour in heaven and strong protection – as He did to us in the prophecy on Victory. The first of these prophecies was about Purity and it points out that purity means to be unmixed – not an alloy. It has nothing to do with piety and perfectionism, and everything to do with being wholehearted and complete – not mixed and lukewarm like Laodicea. The word ‘salvation’ means wholeness’. For more on this see End Times Prophecies – Scroll 1: Purity. New wine will hold no mixture at all.

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Kirk Bennett, prophetic teacher from the Kansas International House of Prayer, said that the Church is teaching people to serve people when they should be teaching people to serve God! It’s put the Church on dangerous ground.

The Cult of Leadership – A Modern Idol: It’s been said that currently there are many leaders of God who aren’t in the church and many in the church who aren’t of God. Our God-given leaders are servants. They’re mainly in our communities not in our churches – especially at the moment. They’ll be women, men, kids, the disabled – it’ll never be one man, one church, or one church leader. Those are the marks of a cult. The spirit of a cult in whatever degree, seeks the tribal mentality where each person has to think with a group mind as instructed by a human leader. The thin edge of that wedge was the shepherding/discipleship movement and the submission/covering doctrine of the 1970s. Most modern churches now have a semblance of it, and even if it’s well-meaning the tight controls have finally created an exodus of millions of church leavers. Now, due to God’s current shaking, churches following that dogma are shouting about it louder than ever while their slipping feet try to gain a foundation that God has removed because it was never His and every plant He didn’t plant He’ll uproot (Mt. 15:13).

Church leaders have become used to having people serve their programmes rather than helping people find and fulfill the individual callings of God in their hearts. It’s the difference between hirelings and shepherds. Rick Joyner says God will not continue to support churches that don’t equip His people while the tithes and offerings of congregants flow into church buildings and salaries rather than to the poor. Kiwi bible teacher, Marcus Ardern, who has been teaching globally for 25 years (and is also known for his prophetic bent, humility, grace, and miracles) has said that the Church has fallen into the trap of making leadership a cult. On 29 October 2009 the TV news channels reported that Brian Tamaki, leader of Destiny church, had himself anointed ‘king’. One channel showed secret footage of the ceremony and another managed to interview him. He explained that his church was chosen by God and therefore the kingdom had come to Destiny church thus making him king. He based it around the Davidic covenant of ruling from a throne. This is the extreme end of the same path that many other churches are already on if they follow leadership/submission dogma. I would suggest that while Destiny was on the brink of that for some time, on Oct 29 it fell right into that hole. They have done me a favour by providing a clear working example of the ‘leadership cult’ because it is worldwide in less extreme forms and its path needs to be seen for the danger it is. Marcus has said ‘leadership’ has become an idol in the Church that God will tear down and those on the tower will either have to let go or fall with their idol. God already told me this very thing and then confirmed it via a prophecy from the Nelson church that hosts the NZ Annual Prophetic Conference (see Other End Times Prophecies). Rick Joyner’s books also showed the same things God had shown me, but it was solidifying to have them confirmed by my old bible school teacher, whose revelations I trust most because I know his fruits and humility (2 Tim. 3:14b). I also note in Mt. 23:10-12 that Jesus tells us not to call ourselves leaders because He is the only Leader. He repeatedly shows by example and teaching that leaders are servants, slaves, that they wash the feet of others. The current church leadership teams with their corporate business model could not be more opposite to the gospel example commanded by Jesus. The passage finishes with the warning that he who exalts himself will be humbled (v 12).

2009 Teachings from God’s Servant: The brief points below include what Marcus shared recently in a visit to NZ as well as what God had already spoken to me about. I can see His guiding hand in these confirmations because He builds “line upon line, precept upon precept” (Is. 28:10) on foundations He’s already established.

Us & God: Proverbs tells us to learn from the ant because although she has no leader she works and gathers (Pr. 6:6). It’s our own responsibility before God to follow our Shepherd, humble ourselves before Him, and trust His guidance (Jn. 10:28-30). Like a garden that gets overgrown if unattended, we need to weed our own hearts, keep our own boundaries, and inspect ourselves. (See also, End Times Prophecies – Scroll 1: Purity, Key 9.)

The Unpopular Stand: The gospel has always been unpopular, with both the world and the religious, and walking with God, standing on the gospel, means standing in an unpopular position. But we must speak the truth God gives us clearly – “If the trumpet gives an indistinct blast who will prepare for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8) God reveals light to us and we must not hide our light under a basket. What He gives us is to edify the whole. The light that we have in the Church now is the result of others standing firm against persecution and against the ‘dumbing-down’ of the gospel.

Seeking the World: The Church, in trying to become relevant to the world, has dumbed down the gospel. Demons will either attack or seduce, and the modern Church is being seduced with Christian celebrities, market-models, and consumerism, etc. They’ve forgotten the power of the gospel, the Kingdom, and the Cross which is self-death. That’s why we have a powerless Church. As Brennan Manning says “they’ve tried to clip the claws of the Lion of Judah.” But Jesus will not stand for it. Proverbs says we must not desire what the wicked have and David said he’s a companion of all those who fear God. When we adhere to the fear of God, He’ll build us. Pr. 24:3 says we’re built by wisdom, established by understanding, and filled by knowledge with rare and beautiful treasures. He is the wise builder – He alone builds His Church. When He fills us with knowledge by revelation (as opposed to mere head-knowledge) it brings such depth of understanding that it establishes us. God’s revelations in us are truly rare and beautiful treasures. We’re built by God all our lives and don’t need to (and mustn’t) follow phenomena for its own sake. Christian leaders are very often unspiritual due to following worldly principles, eg marketing and branding techniques in modern churches. If we follow such leaders we’ll go wrong – follow only God. Given time, what is wrong will bear fruit. These days people are growing in God in spite of churches not because of them (as shown by the millions of church leavers pursuing God and godly fellowship outside the 4 walls).

Scoffers & Mockers: People are also beginning to discuss, eg on Christian radio, the number of comedian-pastors who have popped up behind our pulpits in further efforts at being ‘relevant’ to the world (though why the gospel should be made to fit the world, only the devil can guess at). These efforts have resulted in the sit-com humour of cynical yet witty barbs against anything the current churches’ fads deem unworthy and it’s infected some churches with a scoffing attitude. This is dangerous to our humility and Jude 18,19 says scoffers cause divisions and are devoid of the Spirit! Is. 28:22 says God will put them in chains. The bible makes it clear that we’re in a battle zone and part of our weaponry is a contrite heart. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” and cynical scoffers will be broken by God in His love, smashed against the Rock of Christ, and gifted with a contrite heart. Anyone who’s been through God’s refining fires knows what it is to be smashed against Christ! It is a great gift, leads to incredible intimacy, and brings the fear of God. Those who fear do not mock, for God is not mocked! (Gal. 6:7) Smashings? Chains? Accusations of being divisive, and devoid of the Spirit? Let scoffers be warned!

Submission to Leaders is Idolatry: Submission theology killed the Charismatic Renewal (see Cindy Jacobs’ prophecy ‘Forerunners Revival in NZ’ under Other End Times Prophecies). It came into the revival as the “covering doctrine” of the shepherding/discipleship movement teaching submission to men, and killed the flow of the Holy Spirit stone dead. People gifted by the Spirit to edify the Body had to submit those gifts to pastors and so the Spirit stopped flowing. They had “quenched the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). It created a vacuum and left people chasing the gifts but not the Giver. Due to that focus the Church lost her way and is now being tossed about by the winds of celebrity and power doctrines, as church leaders and celebrities take the stage as the spiritual elite. No one else is welcomed at the altar of such churches and even testimonies can’t be given personally but are read out by a pastor who can’t loosen his grip on the microphone lest someone shares an unsanctioned opinion.

Anyone wanting to walk directly with Jesus (as He commands) was/is seen as rebellious and therefore under the influence of witchcraft. What a clever trick of satan! So many who’ve had the heart to follow Jesus have had the verse 1 Sam.15:23 (“rebellion is as a sin of witchcraft”) thrown at them by those who could be in danger of being rejected by Jesus as goats. Marcus was there in the Jesus Freak revival and watched it die through submission theology. He actively preaches against it and told me “when people accuse you of not obeying them you should say ‘of course not – I’m not supposed to’.” Ez. 28:11-19 shows clearly that the ‘covering’ mandate belongs to Lucifer.

Rightly Divide the Word: Scripture says we must “rightly divide the word” – accurately handle the truth (2 Tim. 2:15). In his book ‘Megashift’ James Rutz comments on this and on deliberate falsehoods on p 122 in a section:

“How To Twist The Bible ... Just A Little: We are also told to ‘obey’ them that have ‘the rule’ over you and ‘submit’ to their ‘authority’. (Heb. 13:17). Forget ‘the rule’ and ‘authority’. They're not in the original. And the Greek words for ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ are not the usual stern ones. They're a lot softer. Much better would be, ‘Listen to (go along with, let yourselves be persuaded by) those who stand before you (guide you, lead you by their example) and be deferential to them.’… By ratcheting up such phrases half a notch, making them consistently harsher, translaters warped the original Christianity." (Emphasis in the original.)

Rutz also writes:

"For Centuries bible translators have muddied the semantics of church structure. The King James version, for instance, tell us ‘If a man desires the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work’ (1 Tim. 3:1). Two problems here: (1) There is no word for a church ‘office’ in the original Greek New Testament. The translators made it up. (2) ‘Bishop’ should be ‘elder’ or ‘overseer’. But in the time of King James, a bishopric was a cushy, tenured job that the Church of England wanted to enhance. A better translation would be, ‘If anyone (anthropos = man or woman) desires to be an overseer’ …”

He also points out that the early Church allowed everyone to speak and share and that if one was speaking and another felt inspired the 1st had to stop and let the 2nd speak (1 Cor. 14:30). He states (on p 121) that if anyone tried to interrupt a pastor these days and expect the pastor to give way, the ushers would remove the person before you could say ‘nicolaitanism’. It’s true – I’ve seen it happen. Again, newly self-ordained ‘king Brian’ gives a good example. One of their church Protocols states that when Brian is talking all others must be silent – in direct opposition to scripture. However, I must point out that he is no worse than those who I haven’t named but whose literature I’ve quoted in House of Deborah under eg, ‘The Madness Continues’. (See also, God will Oust Those in His Way for the story of how God split a pulpit and threw it across a church.)

One Mediator: It’s our duty to follow what God puts in our hearts – we’re told to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). In other words – don’t take it lightly, but by no means give the responsibility to anyone else. Our life with God is about trusting Him to lead us well, and to lead us into a full and intimate relationship with Himself. “There is only one mediator the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). No one else must come between us and God. It’s what Jesus died for! Walking with God = following Jesus, not a church or a human leader. Jesus is our only Shepherd and leaders who expect allegiance to themselves, their teams, their churches, their creeds, are usurping the place of Christ!

Ivory Towers: The current nicolaitan hierarchies are enormous – their Towers of Babel reach nearly to heaven. I believe in accountability, but I also know it happens naturally through God-given bonds of respect and affection in His Body, and through a humble heart created by being close to Him. With Him, it will come automatically. What modern churches preach is that every person must have someone over them to hold them accountable – a man over a woman, an elder over a man, a pastor over an elder, an apostle over a pastor – and who’s over the apostle? In this model, the accountability line goes up and up until in the end there’s got to be someone at the top. I call that man Pope Protestant the Pi (because unlike the single Catholic Pope, the protestant equivalents are endless – hence, the mathematically endless Pi). It doesn’t matter where he is on the ladder of power, only that he promotes what some call the “chain of command” hierarchy. They decry the Catholic hierarchy but build one of their own in each church, teaching that allegiance to man is mandatory – that it’s God’s will. It’s not. It’s a lie. It’s idolatry. I don’t say it’s deliberate, but they are lost in the traditions of men.

Leaders who are following the current fad of CEO-style pastoral control with hierarchical leadership teams not only usurp the place of Christ but open themselves to demonic occultic influence due to the idolatry of submission to men, and due to the spirit of control which is the spirit of witchcraft. Why do people do spells? To control their circumstances as their own mini-gods! In humility and carrying our own Cross, we lay down our notions of controlling our circumstances, as Job did, and we submit our lives and wills to God alone. Jesus is the only Head of the Church and to claim headship usurps His position! It’s what satan has always attempted and why he was cast out of heaven.

Structure – Church Scaffolding: God’s Church is His precious Bride – His Temple is in the hearts of His own. He’s not interested in church structure, it’s way down on His list. But its leaders think it’s God’s top priority, primarily because it’s their own priority. Churches that model themselves on programmes are not God’s Church even if their programmes are good. God’s Church is His people and He’s passionate about each one’s fulfillment. Programmes are not part of what God is building into His Church. His focus is on loving relationships not unfamiliar activities. He wants unity and love with each other, unity and intimacy with Himself, and His callings and gifts in full operation in every single person so that the Body is built and strengthened. We are to encourage each other and know each other after the Spirit. With eyes so firmly on the flesh and activities that don’t even ask, let alone accept, what the joy and bliss of each member is, the Body can’t fully function because it isn’t being fully perceived. As Paul said “If the whole body were an ear, how would we see?” (1 Cor. 12:14-27)

Blocking the Parable of the Talents: Church programmes teach uniformity not unity, and not God’s uniqueness in His people. That’s why people aren’t good at knowing each other’s spirits and view each other with their fleshly eyes. When leaders do this they risk blocking the callings of others and are therefore “quenching the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). God once showed me that this is connected to the parable of the talents (Mt. 25:18-28). Not using our talents for God is like the man who buried his talent in the ground and when the master returned he took it off the man and gave to the one who had made the most of his talents. This judgement from God concerned me because so many desire to use their gifts but are blocked by churches that focus on their own ideas and programmes. So, like David, I enquired of God. He showed me that the judgement will still fall (His word is eternal) but that it will fall on the one who hinders. In the parable, the man who hid his own talent was judged. In the Church if people are itching to use their gifts and follow their callings but are hindered and given no open door for this, the judgement will fall on the leaders who hinder. There are almost no gifts flowing in the churches anymore because of leadership control-tactics. This is why Ez. 34:2 and Jer. 25:34-36 prophesy a coming judgement on the shepherds who don’t tend the flocks, and Jesus warned us about hirelings (Jn. 10:12,13). God’s already said He gives us gifts to build up the Body – they must be set free – and He gives callings so His Bride can impact the world. Yet leaders insist on the Bride being a mute spectator. God will judge this – He’s already begun and is increasing the shakings. However, if God’s people follow only our Shepherd and not a hierarchy then God will make a way for each one to outwork the purpose God made them for, which will fulfill both their lives and His plan. Pr. 18:16 says “a man’s gift makes a way for him” and millions are leaving churches in order to pursue God, His calling in them, and serve Him in their world, precisely because the church structure won’t let them do it. I once had to wait 6 months to be ‘allowed’ to ask congregants (my brethren) for any stories of miracles as I was compiling them for evangelistic literature. Such announcements were given 2-minute slots at the front of the church and I was stopped after 90 seconds. It doesn’t gel with 1 Cor. 14:30 on all being allowed to speak, the Hebrew question-answer-debate culture of the scriptures, the commands to esteem and honour people, or common decency. People are sick of church strait-jackets and waiting on leaders who refuse to serve anything but their own agenda, and have given them up to follow the true and only Leader of the Church – Jesus. These ones are being called and led by the Shepherd and will be formed into His Bride. The overcautious, fearful, and controlling leadership cult has shot itself in the foot. After 30 years of this, the millions have simply given up listening to them. Their promises of leading people into their callings have proven hollow.

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Many leaders today are being promoted by men and not by God, including the current recruitment of apostles who are closer to jet-setting businessmen than abused servants. The biblical description of an apostle is one who is “hated all day long” and suffers much, who is “the scum of the earth”. It’s always been that way for God’s people – the world accuses them, satan despises them. The celebrity apostle is described as a church-planter who has pastors and other leaders under them. The job description is ‘the big boss’. The biblical description is the opposite. They were whipped and rejected – even by those they preached to. They brought a radical message that only those whose hearts God had opened could accept. All others were threatened by them. When they did have godly relationships with believers they worked to support the groups and individuals regardless of the cost to themselves. They were not too busy for God’s people and saw every single person as divine and valuable (Gal. 3:28). They saw God’s people as Jesus sees them and were true servants unto death – like their Master. In his book ‘Naked Illusion’ Ross Smith, Wellington pastor, points out on p 89, that the current upswing in a self-centred, self-help faith is “widespread across the globe, complete with apostles of finance and whatever other apostle, by calling card, is the flavour of the day. The one and only remote connection to a biblical apostle of finance would lead us to the name of Judas! Sad to say, but the modern day prophets for profit carry the same spirit as Balaam”. He cites some churches charging for prophetic words – the cheapest from an elder and the most expensive from a prophet/apostle. This is demonic.

Scripture warns us of those who “hold to a form of godliness but deny its power.” The gospel’s power is not in miracles but in the Cross – in humility, sacrifice, and love for others. Those seeking spiritual power and chasing techniques for it notably lack these fruits. We are told to “avoid such men as these” (2 Tim. 3:5). As international teacher of 25 years, Marcus Ardern, said in his message ‘Alone With the Grace of God’ (available through Inspirational Media, Tauranga, NZ) “He’s not interested in what you can do for Him, He is interested in whether you’ll be like Him.” (Mt. 10:25.) The true miracle is becoming Christlike! Ross Smith puts it this way in Naked Illusion (p 27) “Our Lord has transformation in mind … His desire is to have us be like Him”. It’s a very high calling and nothing to do with chasing faith techniques or claiming scriptures to try to force God’s hand to do our will. It is about claiming our Cross! Only then will His life (and power) flow through us (Phil. 10b,11).

Force-Fed: The Church is now drowned in hierarchy, programmes, conferences, and colleges. Many, if not most, of the millions of church leavers worldwide are saying they are over-churched, over-fed, and stuffed full of endless teaching without the opportunity to outwork the principles of the gospel and/or their heart’s callings. During my year of nightly intense times with God as He came and ‘kidnapped’ me (see Personal Worship) He eventually required me to go forth and do stuff for Him (what 24/7-Prayer founder Pete Grieg calls ‘breathing in and breathing out’.) But all I wanted was to keep resting in His presence (breathing Him in). He would gently and warmly say “Don’t grow fat on Me.” Now I can apply those words to congregations which are endlessly fed and never allowed to work off the food – forced to be hearers of the word and hindered from being doers of the word! As an increasing number of people grow bored with the gospel of ‘sitting and listening’, one well-known NZ pastor, and regular on Radio Rhema, addressed this in a 2009 August interview saying that his church opens doors for people to participate in serving God because it holds many conferences and his people can pay for that. (greek!) Yet the biblical list of callings and gifts that God Himself gives to each person doesn’t mention conference financiers – nor did the pastor mention making room for people’s actual callings and gifts. Church leaders have grown far from the commands of God (which is why they call themselves leaders and not servants). People are voting with their feet and the ‘opportunity’ to pay for the conferences of the elite few (and then often pay high sums to attend) does not fulfill the prophet, intercessor, hospitality gifted, or beneficiary. If it doesn’t fulfill the Body of Christ, it doesn’t fulfill Christ!

Mindless Moral Monologues: It’s been said that “the Church has been hijacked by teachers”. While this is true, there’s a difference between someone with a gift of teaching from the Holy Spirit, and those who go to bible college, and prance out spouting mere information gleaned from men rather than revelation from God in His holy scriptures. The ‘fact-mongers’ often polarize a focal point and the result is 2-fold; (a) the classroom scenario ensures the Bride is a spectator whose spiritual muscles waste away, and (b) the gospel has been confused with moral paradigms. But the faith has never been about societal morals; it is about relationships with God and brethren. The early Church teachers held full-on discussions – the Hebrews had no system whereby people had to sit and listen and not ask questions or give their viewpoints. To this day Jewish teaching involves “lively discussion” (ie arguments but without division). When Paul preached until midnight it was a question and answer scenario. People don’t learn merely by having their heads filled via a monologue – especially not God’s people who need to learn with their hearts. The Tree of Knowledge has taken us a long way from the Tree of Life. God is restoring our focus on His Life but it won’t happen without a destructive shaking. A godly leader will say, like John, “I must decrease” – my time is over. Because this isn’t happening people are leaving and the structure is falling. Change is coming and the elitist leadership structure will come down in favour of the full Body. Mt. 23:10 says there is only One Leader, Christ, and no-one else should claim that title! Leaders – wake up and see the pedestal. Remember that God doesn’t talk about leaders and leadership teams but about servants. If you don’t know the name and aspirations of the weird guy in the back row, it’s a good clue you’re not ‘serving’ shepherding or teaching God’s people.

Meanwhile, the impersonal programmes and courses have become the avenues for entering ministerial service – an exact replica of the world’s promotion system, except that unlike the world they don’t promote everyone equally into their God-given areas of interest, no matter how much aptitude they show in an area. Due to a focus on the traditions of men rather than on the calling of God, for example, a woman may do very well in biblical languages and cultures, and/or pastoral care (all of which are naturally strong areas for women), but they can rarely become a teacher or pastor. No wonder the Church is not being fed and nurtured to maturity. Shepherds must nurture, not just force-feed regurgitated ‘facts’ and God’s natural nurturers, women, are banned from the job. How satan must laugh! However, God is turning satan’s laughter and men’s rules on their head. See House of Deborah.

When Pastors Fear Women: It’s often taught that pastors must “avoid the appearance of evil” and so they have unbiblical doctrines to not shepherd single women. But without allowing women as elders in their own right, women, especially single women, are left with no pastoral care while the men try to ‘avoid temptation’! (Note: if they are so afraid of their own weakness then their level of faith, holiness, and whether they should even be shepherding people, is highly questionable.) I’ve heard it preached that pastors must be careful to not be targeted by certain women who are attracted to power. My reply was that (a) such women would be more likely to target businessmen or politicians, and (b) the power of the pastor is in the mind of the pastor and exists only because of the amount of power-raking in the current hierarchy structure. If they saw themselves through biblical eyes – as poor weak servants – they would not fear. (Perfect love casts out fear so they are not perfected in love – 1 Jn. 4:18. Jesus was alone with the woman at the well and others, Jn. 4:7,8.) This type of fear that women would even want them sexually leads to only one conclusion – they seriously need to get over themselves! I realize I’m extremely fussy, and the only One I’ve ever totally fallen head over heels for is Jesus, but in 30 years of church I’ve never seen an attractive pastor. I hope it puts their minds at rest to know they’re not as attractive as they think they are! I assume those fearing lust also lack ‘the holiness barrier’. Mary loved Jesus – His honour, truth, kindness, strength, nobility, and wonder are hard to ignore. As Mark Gallie (author of ‘Jesus Mean and Wild’) says “Jesus is immensely attractive.” But Mary’s natural affections were overshadowed by awe as she ran into His holiness barrier. David panted for God (Ps. 42:1) and Paul desired Him like a lover (see Knowing Him) but His holiness always refines the desire of our hearts, both increasing it and steering it. Mary had Jesus the Man in her face. How difficult to deal with such depths of yearning when He stands in front of you. But His holiness ensured her holiness. Men who’ve been attracted to me quickly learn I’m out of range when they hit my holiness barrier. My words and interests show clearly that my heart is taken by Jesus and that my life is in His Kingdom, not this kingdom or an ordinary earthly life.

Pastors who are so afraid of dealing directly with women that they can’t pastor them obviously have no holiness barrier – their holiness is small. If not, the issue would never arise. As Paul said, if you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). The closer to God, the less room for the flesh. These pastors are semi-pastors, willing to shepherd only half of the Body. They wish to be seen as pure, but Jesus never worried about avoiding the appearance of evil. He walked into Samaria, an area that Jews refused to enter deeming it unclean, and spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well – something unheard of. Not only was she an outcast to Jews, she was an outcast to her own people, hence drawing water alone at noon when the women gathered for water in the cool hours of morning and evening. He then revealed to her, before anyone else, that He was the Messiah. Jesus had no problems with “appearance” and constantly berated the Pharisees for their focus on it. Instead He was all embracing, gracious, loving. His disciples are meant to follow His Way, but the semi-pastors are not perfected in love. They aspire to the leadership of Paul who described himself as “hated all day long” and “often in weakness” yet see themselves as mega-church moguls – power-mongers. They should be aspiring to the leadership of Jesus who despised hierarchy (Rev. 2:6) and came to serve. Too many modern pastors seek only to rule and in doing so they have failed in God’s job description and will be judged as hirelings (Ez. 34:2, Jer. 25:34-36). A hard word but true – scripture is clear on it.

Shepherds vs Hirelings: Christians nowadays are raised into leadership by head-knowledge and networking (like secular promotion) and God’s choice and the state of their hearts are a secondary consideration. Due to this, there are more hirelings than shepherds leading our churches. The word ‘pastor’ has become a noun (worse – a title) when it was only ever meant to be a verb. Pastors now hide behind leadership teams, too busy arranging programmes to have time for the sheep, and they’ve become unapproachable. An unapproachable shepherd is no shepherd at all – but a hireling. Leadership teams are also too busy for the sheep, outside of youth pastors who are useless to the over 25s and the majority who have the real life issues they may need help with – not because they lack the skill or wisdom but because it’s not in their job description. (I don’t know where the scripture is that says sheep get shepherded by age categories.) Leadership teams are generally made up of elders, but with the new focus on programmes, elders are also unapproachable. Essentially, this is an administration structure. I was in a church that had an “administration pastor”. Since when did admin need shepherding? A desk in hospital and needing a visit? A prophetic word for a paper-tray? Clearly they confused pastoring with management, but Jesus does not confuse the two! It’s not uncommon now for pastors to call themselves CEOs and to have ‘church-building strategy meetings’ with their teams, brainstorming for directions and praying for Jesus to come along – but not waiting on Him. Yet He is the only true Church builder. His focus is on people, the real Church, not on programmes or building extensions. Too many churches have modeled themselves on the corporate business world. As one who’s done business management training, I’ve noticed that modern church and business structures are almost identical twins. What’s missing is God’s choice! No wonder they have ‘apostles of finance’ (see 1st para of False Leaders) and call their congregants “revenue gathering units”. There’ll never be a true shepherd who is too busy for his flock, and the test is how they treat “these least of these” – the new faces, the quiet ones, the ones who stand in line to talk to them after the service only to be ignored week after week until they leave. There are many testimonies of people leaving a church service feeling worse and more lonely than when they arrived. This is not God’s Church!

Jesus Himself makes the comparison in His description of the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:1-30). Good Shepherds care for each sheep, their triumphs and struggles are known to the shepherd, who takes time to help guide each one. The Good Shepherd leaves the hundred safe to go after one lost sheep until it’s found. They feed them the food needed for each – a difficult task if a pastor doesn’t even know a person’s name, let alone what gifts the Holy Spirit has given them. It’s why the Church is not being built up to function as a Body. Instead we get fed a common diet en masse, heavily salted with the traditions of men (I speak of the fundamentalist churches, not the ones we like to think of as ’traditional’.) The book ‘Pagan Christianity’ (Frank Viola and George Barna – see Recommended Resources) shows the history of how our church traditions grew away from the early Church and plainly says that satan has too many churches in chains through overly controlling pastors (or, I should say, hirelings). An increasing number of NZ churches are buying into the US model, using marketing and branding techniques, and secular salesmen to teach evangelism. Er – yuk? No-one can properly emit Christ to one who doesn’t know Him, unless they are so deeply connected to Him He oozes out of them. Evangelism is not a technique – it’s not about words and number crunching. It’s about being the fragrance of Christ and having a true heart-felt concern for strangers.

In the 1980s God shook the televangelist world and brought down that kingdom which had grown rich and corrupt. Many fell as leaders were exposed for sexual and financial sin (power corrupts). God’s shaking for this current power-based leadership structure has been prophesied, both by Jer. 25:34-36 and Ez. 34:2, as well as by current Church prophets internationally. Thomas A’Kempis pointed out that it benefits nothing for a man to discourse profoundly on the Trinity, if he lacks humility and as such displeases the Trinity (cited in Rick Joyner’s book ‘The Harvest’ p 103).

This shaking has already begun – church leaders beware! God’s people are bored. They are leaving in their millions. It’s not about making church services more entertaining and ‘relevant’ – that’s what they’re bored with! It’s about handing over the reins of control so the hungry can feed themselves because the leaders aren’t giving the food they need. The current structures are set to meet the needs of the leaders, and the networks they rub shoulders with who have the same structures. They do not meet the needs of the people, and therefore do not meet the needs of God Who deeply cares that “the least of these” should be fulfilled (Mt. 25:40,45). This structure is not Life, but merely a classroom which covers the same old lessons year after year after year after year after …

God’s true leaders need to be symbols of Himself. (See also, Discipleship.)

The Trinity vs Hierarchy: I’ve heard teachings coming from the US (and I’ve heard it in NZ) that there is a hierarchy in heaven and that Jesus is a lesser Being than the Father. This lie is used to promote modern churches’ current focus on hierarchy and submission to leaders – they’ve made God in their own image. People use the verses on how Jesus submitted to the Father’s will (eg ”Not My will but Thine be done” – Mt. 26:39), but we know that Jesus “emptied Himself” of His own glory to step down into the shoes of humanity and that His ascension restored Him to “the glory He had with the Father before the world was” (Jn. 17:5). Jn. 1:1-3,14 tells us that Jesus is God and Creator! Jesus Himself claims ownership of the Commandments (Jn. 14:15). Is. 9:6 lists the names of Jesus from Counsellor, to Mighty God, to Prince of Peace. Right before Prince of Peace is a name often unused for Jesus – He is called “Everlasting Father”. The title eradicates any notion that Jesus is subordinate to the Father. He is One with the Father in perfect union. Each member of the Trinity is in perfect harmony. Those who step outside this dynamic and seek their own authority, eg Lucifer, seek hierarchy and, as with Lucifer, they are cast down. This makes the dogma of Jesus being in submission to the Father extremely dangerous and shows the true nature of the submission theology in the churches. The covering/submission mandate belongs to Lucifer (see Ez. 28:11-19 and House of Deborah – 1 Corinthians: Dealing with the Covering Myth.) That’s a warning to submission-mongers if they haven’t already paid attention to Rev. 2:6 or Mt. 20:25-28.

In Rev. 2:6 Jesus said He “despises the doctrine of the nicolaitans”. Strong language to show His disdain for hierarchies! (Nikos = power over, to conquer – Loas = people, from which we get the word ‘laity’. The doctrine brought the division of God’s people into permanent leaders and laity, rather than servants who help others become servants.) The many groups who focus on leadership teams seem to never mention the word ‘servant’ regarding themselves. They are nicolaitans and Frank Viola and George Barna in ‘Pagan Christianity’ quote eminent scholar DG Dunn on p 127 who said that the clergy-laity tradition has done more to undermine New Testament authority than most heresies. Jesus is the only captain and as Frank Viola says in his August 09 article on the clergy/laity system and those who try to defend it and the awareness that God has begun to address it “You can rearrange the chairs on the Titanic all day long but the ship is still going down.”

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Rick Joyner and others say a civil war is coming to the Church. Jesus promises He’ll separate the sheep from the goats (Mt. 25:32-46), shake everything that can be shaken so that only the unshakable remains (Heb. 12:27), and that there’ll be an apostate church (1 Tim. 4:1-2, Mt. 24:10-13 – the Matthew passage is spookily similar to Laodicea in Rev.3:14-22, the church-age we are supposedly living in). Wellington pastor Ross Smith says Laodicea means ‘self-opinionated’, that this current church-age is full of false teachings which Jesus will spew out, and that only dogs return to vomit (Pr. 26:11). In his book ‘Naked Illusion’ (p xv) he writes “Because of the ‘illusion’ within the Body of Christ today, many are weaving themselves garments made from lukewarm vomit unaware that the label reads ‘made in hell’.”

Sheep & Goats – A Vision: On 11 October 2008 I was shown the difference between the sheep and the goats and why Jesus will say “depart from me, I never knew you” to the goats (Mt. 7:23, 25:41). I saw Christians blaming and accusing others (which Is. 58 forbids), causing pain and divisions and gossip (which Rom. 16:17 and Titus 3 say to avoid). I saw their faces become like gargoyles and the demons behind them shadowed them. My heart sank and I lamented the pain and grief in the Church from legalists and the lack of love and family. Suddenly I heard Jesus say angrily “Do you think they’ll enter heaven?” It was so clear that I replied aloud “I don’t know – they’re Your people.” He showed me that those who don’t love are not His people. This is the message of 1 Jn. 4. Those who focus on right and wrong without grace, those who argue over details, those who use His law to accuse – are following the accuser’s path. They’re the goats who, despite calling Him Lord or even raising the dead, will hear “depart from me I never knew you” (see also Knowing Him). Arguing over doctrines (“which leads to the ruin of the hearers” 2 Tim. 2:14) assumes that our tiny minds can know the full depth of God’s right and wrong. Yet God has said that His thoughts are far above ours (Is. 55:9). Even if we could fully grasp the depth and breadth of God’s ways, our sinful natures could not live up to His Truth, as Rom 7:13-25 shows. Many in the churches still focus on, and teach, legalistic rules. They are Priests of Levi not Royal Priests of Melchizedek. We need both His revealed and His revelational truth – to focus on grace and praise Him for it – and to understand that our pride is weakness, for that’s when we’re strong!

Rick Joyner (prophet, teacher, pastor, and author) says the Church’s final battle will be against the spirit of religion. I have also seen a great separation coming between those who love religious law and those who love Jesus. Prophet Jill Austin also saw a coming clash as a battle against demonic influences in both the Church and the world with God purifying His people so we can have the authority of Heaven as the apostles did. She saw God giving us blueprints and strategies for how to deal with the battle, and often said “war and revival are running mates”. Joyner, in his vision of heaven and the final battle, wrote in his book ‘The Final Quest’ that the most disturbing thing God showed him was that the army of demons was not riding on horses but on the backs of Christians who didn’t know they were being ridden as they attacked their brethren in legalism and religion. Those Christians had depression in common because they had chosen, and were covered by, the dark clouds of legalism, unaware that it blocked them from the light of God.

God has shown me several things about this event – primarily that the lower levels of spirituality in the Church will be breached and we need to get to higher ground to be safe. Higher ground means worship, it means moving to the level of a Song of Songs sacred romance with Him, walking in the Spirit with Jesus and knowing who our Shepherd is. It’s vital to embrace the deep love relationship with Him now and learn from Him directly, because when the man-made structures of the Church and world fall (and it has begun) Jesus will be our only protection. He has always been our only protection but the current Church does not preach this, and Christians have learned to follow a human leader rather than the true and only Head of the Church. Those who remain in the place of pursuing programmes, leadership teams, the structures and hierarchies of men, and the letter of the law that kills, will be breached and fall, or if they’re willing to humble themselves, will be shaken until purified. Those who put their trust in their true Shepherd and form true bonds of love as a Church family, will find safety in their walk with God and help from the brethren.

The damage will come to the unromanced who seek only head-knowledge not a heart relationship. It will come from other head-knowledge seekers who don’t know the romance of the Bridegroom and therefore don’t know how to love others with grace. I’ve long known that the Tree of Knowledge has sidetracked the Church from the Tree of Life, and as Rick Joyner points out, the good side of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil is just as deadly as the evil side – they have the same root. Nor does God distinguish between the sides – He just says not to eat any of it. Damage will also come wherever demons have an entry, mainly from the world as God shakes it, and from legalistic brethren. It’s difficult to trust Jesus if you don’t know Him and to know Him is to fall in love with Him deeply. People for whom faith is an intellectual exercise of rules and accuracies will fall.

Spirit vs Soul – A Dream: Kirk Bennett, prophetic teacher at the Kansas International House of Prayer, shared that God showed him that even getting stuff right is still wrong if we only work it out with our minds. He described a dream in which he answered basic maths sums correctly, but was still marked wrong by the teacher, and the marking was also correct. As he awoke God said: “If you only use your head you will never operate in the things of the Spirit.” Jesus has shown me the exact same thing – not the dream, but the principle – strongly insisting that we can be ‘accurate’ but still not be ‘right’ (let alone righteous)! After all, satan quoted scripture. Only the spirit understands the things of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:11-12). Worship is what lifts our wings and raises us above the Tree of Knowledge to the Tree of Life and into the protective arms of Mighty Jesus.

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Don’t quench the Holy Spirit! (1 Thess. 5:19.) God is currently shaking the Church and will bring down the structures to rebuild His Bride in His way. The new Bride will be unrecognizable compared to the current top-down classroom-based structures which prevent the Body from following their gifts and callings and being doers of the Word, and therefore quench the Spirit. Prophets the world over are saying that God is angry that church leaders are in His way, have usurped His position as Head of the Church, and have kept His Body from functioning by not giving room for people to learn their gifts and follow their callings. The new Bride will be fully functioning and intimately linked to her true Leader and Shepherd, Jesus Christ. She will follow the First Commandment, to love God above all things, and will be so filled with His love it will overflow to enable her to “love others as herself” and “esteem others more highly than herself” (Phil. 2:3). Only God’s love can do that and I’ve yet to see it modeled by the current leadership structure.

The Bride will be feasting on the Tree of Life – hand-fed by her Beloved. She will operate outside the 4 walls – as has begun with the millions of church leavers serving God in daily life (as we’re meant to) because the tight church structures give no room for the God-given ministries of each Body part. Those who push hierarchy and one-way submission in the Church will fall to the religious spirit and become the prophesied apostate church. This has begun with some mega-churches even demanding sexual submission from women, and submission to a husband’s violence – quantifying in church doctrine the frequency, number, and level of beatings a wife must endure before seeking solace (see web-links in House of Deborah – Ephesians: Dealings With False Submission.) All this in the name of submission to hierarchy, and of course, the dogma teaching the heavenly hierarchy with Jesus beneath the Father – despite Is. 9:6 naming Him “Everlasting Father”, Rev. 2:6 in which He condemns hierarchy, and the clear scriptures that Jesus is Creator. The submission theology of the 1970s, and the recorded violence it now perpetuates, is growing to be one the most damning foundations of the apostate church. Mutual submission is the pattern of the Trinity and of heaven. Hierarchy is “despised” by Jesus. It is the pattern of this world, of which satan is ruler.

His true Bride will radiate Kingdom principles and Kingdom glory. Mutual submission will be her lifeline – as shown so powerfully in God’s own creation. She will be as outrageous as John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, will move unpredictably in the wind of His Spirit, and be so hooked into God and filled with joy, love, and humility that God will trust her with His power. She will BE the unity that Jesus prayed for in Jn. 17 and through that the world will finally see who Jesus really is.

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