For the clergy to organize themselves with one rank over another until they are finally headed up by a president is a manifestation of the antichrist spirit, regardless of how wonderful and necessary it may seem. It is nothing but human reasoning taking the place of the Word.
William M. Branham, “A Resume of the Ages”, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages
Did you know that you can have all the form of “Church”, and not have God?
Let’s take a little walk down history lane. 1 Kings 18 shows a good “church service”. Two of them, in fact. Two churches, on the same hill-top, eaching having services. One service was the first church of the Baal prophets, complete with altar, worship service, sacrifice, and even wood. I hear they sat somewhere near 850 faithful, plus the general congregation. The second, was the much smaller one. It wasn’t nearly as fancy. In fact, I hear it was all wet. But, they too, had their altar, their wood, their sacrifice. And, they only had one minister, instead of the hundreds. But, they seemed happy, so why not let them be?
Oh, well, I suppose the taunts from Elijah were riling up those false prophets of Baal. Those false prophets were busy all day long, shouting, running about, cutting themselves, anything to get get a demonstration. They had all the things lined up just the way that Elijah did. An argument might even be made that they were MORE faithful, after all, they were cutting themselves. The blood loss will surely take a week or so to be fully replaced. God did call for blood, after all, didn’t He? I mean, they had the basics covered. Dead ox and all.
There were surely two great looking church services on Mt Carmel, for sure… Just, the only thing is, only one of them actually HAD God show up at their meeting. Same hill top. Same altar. Same setup. And God only showed up for one of them. And, God had those 850 false prophets slaughtered at the river through Elijah in accordance with the Israelite’s law.
If it hadn’t been for the challenge, would anyone have cared? If it hadn’t been for the fact that Elijah commanded the heavens shut, how long could the cults of Baal have run the “church”? Would we even know?
They say the best way to spot a counterfeit dollar bill is to memorize the feel of the authentic. But, do we know the one within us? One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the discerning of Spirits, but are we skilled at its use, or know anyone who is?
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1 Corinthians 2:15
If we are to leave elementary thinking, we must understand that discerning a wrong spirit is not wrong judgement. Paul said that the spiritual person judges all things. There is a difference between carnal judgement and spiritual judgement. One is of self, for self, the other is from God, for His glory. Yet, without it, we will be run over by every voice that claims to be worthwhile. And, if it hurts someone’s feelings, we are commanded to hate (Luke 14:26). I’d rather have the Truth, than settle for Baal.
There are, of course, things that need to get done in a meeting hall such as a church building. Proper stewardship of facilities and staff is essential, as well as maintaining efficient communication throughout the body. But, if that is how you’re “running” your church, you’re missing out on the big picture.
Church is not a business, and if it is to you, you’re in the wrong business, because you, most of all, know the truth of Eternity, and that it is ONLY that which is done in the Spirit that profits. If you are living for this life as a ministry, you may be saved, but you are assuredly blind. There are better ways to rip people off than church. Why not try MLM or something like that?
Unless Christ is the head of the church, I would say that it is not His church, it is something else. You cannot be led by someone you do not know, look to, follow, and obey. You cannot be governed by Him who you do not consult. What if God was interested in that little detail, or that one, or maybe even all of them? What if they mattered quite a bit to Him?
If we learned by Faith the heart of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and how to follow Him, we would know which way to turn, even without a specific word. If we knew the leading and presence of the Lord, wouldn’t we know if we made a misstep? If we took the time in His presence, to know whether He was pleased with our labors, wouldn’t that encourage us to continue, even when things looked tough?
But, wisdom is proved right by her actions. And, all those that fall upon this rock will be broken, and all upon whom it falls will be ground to powder.
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
If we knew the Spirit, if we knew faith, we would not have to settle for programs, and for by-laws to govern ourselves. The LAW would be written on our hearts, and, like Paul and Barnabas, those who are to be set apart for service to the Lord would be.
To run God’s house, a spiritual Kingdom, by a forced, outward, natural order, is guaranteed to stagnation, lethargy, and death. The way of the Kingdom is by the wind, and if you build a man-made wall, all you are doing is blocking the wind. ”Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” (Mark 7:13, portion).
God’s governance, true governance, of the Church, must be through spiritually minded people, following the Spirit, and not man’s made up laws. If the Bible was enough to inspire faith to thousands of others before, it must be enough for us. If you do not know the way as clear as this, why not follow the advice of the Song of Songs, following others who have found more than you for a while. Sit under their anointing, learn, follow, observe, ask, let that seed grow, and that leaven spread. Until it fills the whole of your garden.
If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.
Song of Solomon 1:8