TRUTH OR DARE

It is truly amazing how much popularity and money that the entertainment business generates in today’s culture. Whether it’s the big screen, television, or stage, both Christian and non-Christian alike invest much of their time and money in this form of entertainment. Obviously, supply and demand speaks volumes! Just as amazing is the fact that most of this business is make believe. It is the ‘make believers’ whom the world and a great part of the church has set apart and set upon a pedestal as celebrities and icons of our cultural fabric. The skill of ‘acting’ has become a profitable endeavor for both award and reward. Modern society has heaped praise and adoration upon those who are essentially – professional pretenders. Sadly, some of the greatest actors and pretenders are not in the Hollywood Hills, but within the city that is to be set upon a hill – The church.

Pretension can trace its origin within the roots of idolatry. The church attending actor and actress is desperately seeking the approval, applause, and affirmation of man rather than God as his or her primary source of purpose and direction. Needless to say, the idolization of man is idolatry in its basic form because it places humanity on par with God in providing purpose and direction to life. Worse yet, many of these individuals have been walking in man-centered idolatry for so long that they are led to believe that they are something that they really are not or doing something that they are not called nor commissioned to do. We can see this manifestation rather clearly under the prophetic umbrella as many folks are proclaiming from frustration and rejection instead of from the Spirit of Christ – The Spirit of prophecy. Without the healing touch of God to liberate us into transparency and truth, the ‘actor’ will come to a point of believing their own warped natural and spiritual viewpoints. The element and proof of spiritual truth in our life can be summed up by asking ourselves two simple questions: Does my public life (the life that I present to others) reflect my private life? Does my spiritual life line up with God’s Word?

Much of what I witness in the church meeting, broadcasts, and gatherings is on par with a Broadway production worthy of an Academy Award. The western church has become a tonic of entertainment that satisfies the flesh and multitudes have been indoctrinated with the belief that all men and women who speak on behalf of God are ordained by God…And of course, “Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth and multiple scriptures along with this verse have become perverted from the original language (intent) and meaning to justify control and silence objectors. (We must remember, that ALL believers are filled with the Spirit of God. Thus, I would say that qualifies ALL believers as being anointed in some aspect of the Christian life). On the same hand, ALL have an opportunity to be led by the Spirit which must be a personal choice of obedience to Christ. (Filled with the Spirit is a gift of grace. Led by the Spirit is a personal choice of obedience). We see a clear picture in Numbers 16 when Abiram, Dathan, and Korah erroneously took on the authority of a true minister of the Lord and we read that most within the congregation followed them. Have you ever stopped to think of why most followed these spiritual actors? The sin of Korah is what stands out as a signpost to many who have been trying to repair this old and cracked wineskin we call the modern church. We must note that Korah was a Levite by birth and a true minister called by the Lord. Likewise, you and I have the same birthright as believers in Christ. The difference with Korah and what we need to understand is that he sought to usurp the position and function of the high priest.

The prophetic insight for today is clear: The true church (you and I) is the tabernacle or temple of the Lord’s Spirit and presence. The Bible states that the Spirit of God dwells within us individually as well as corporately. Within the temple – the Holy of Holies is not so much a literal place as it is the Shekinah or weighty presence of God which manifests beyond time, space, and place. The Holy of Holies represents the Spirit of God and also represents our spirit-man created in God’s image. The Holy of Holies also represents the attributes of God’s glory and power. It is through the glory and resurrection power of God that our spirit-man is revived and renewed. It is through the glory and resurrection power of God that our spirit-man is reveled as the second coming of Christ – Christ manifested in YOU, the hope of glory and the hope of others within your arms reach. The third or bodily coming of Christ will coincide when the the third feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled by the church in relationship to God. The glory and power of God should radiate through our corporate lives as the church built of living stones rather than dead cement stones. The Holy Place represents our renewed mind or soul. It is within the holy place that conscience choices and sacrifices are made that reflect our true relationship with God and one another. It is within the Holy Place of our lives that the sacrifice of TRUTH must be held over the escapism, rationalization, and desires of the flesh that the world and the worldly church offer. (This is where Korah, Abiram, and Dathan began to fall).

The Outer Court is a type or reflection of our physical bodies and an area where both the desires of the world and the desire for God are both within eye sight and arms reach. The Outer Court is a place of both defeat and glorious victories. It all hinges upon what direction we are looking toward or seeking when temptation and truth confronts us. Most of us know that the present religious system, whether traditional or spirit-filled is a distorted caricature of what Christ left us as a template. The hour is at hand and the Lord is desiring a church and bride that is built upon the truth of His Word and Spirit. A church, whose leadership is about giving and not begging and manipulating. A leadership who will truly begin trusting the Lord for their resources rather than man. Look, if the Lord is not providing for your ministry and you’re not ‘acting’, then its time to seek traditional employment and support it yourself with His grace. Paul would single-handedly turn the known world on its ear without begging for money to support his ministry. This allowed him to bring an uncompromising message of truth. Why? Because there was not a conflict of interest in bringing the radical truth to those who would otherwise be paying his mortgage and light bill. It is true that the Bible states many offices and positions of occupancy within the church. But how they are financed are multi-fold.

It’s a tragedy if our spiritual conditioning has evolved to a point of paying someone else to visit the elderly, to visit folks in the hospital, earnestly pray for people, bring the message of Christ to people, and minister the good news of miracles if we are to remain idle – we should all be doing this without excuse as the proof of being born again believers. The only way that I can justify paying a minister full-time is one who willingly desires to equip others to become greater than themselves in serving the Lord and humanity. The investment of “greater works than these” into the next spiritual generation of believers will be the crux of the matter in 2015 and define whether the church has come under the ‘true’ anointing. (After all, even Jesus desired that we would do greater works than Him). All others are acting or pretending to be leaders and have been ordained by the auspices of man. The ‘pastor’ or ‘leader’ who fails to equip others in doing greater works than he or she is burdened with control and preservation of a failed institution and eaten up with insecurity.

What is the function of the TRUE church? It is that true leaders become true servants and equip the saints for the work of ministry and encourage or promote their spiritual destinies. I previously wrote that our spiritual journey and end result is a solo act as we will stand alone before God. However, we must have traveling companions on this journey who are rightly fit and willing to support our vision and destiny. The whole church paradigm must change. To listen to one man or woman preach twice a week for 50 weeks out of year is a blatant injustice to God’s people. That is like eating chicken with no sides three meals a day for year! Rather than taking an interest in the vision of the congregation (the corporate body of Christ), today’s religious leadership desires the congregation fulfill their vision. This is completely backwards from the TRUTH. Rather than continued growth and spiritual victory, the current religious system promotes a hierarchical structure and spiritual dependency. The Bible gives us the blueprint for ministry finances and it does not require an academy award performance, spiritual manipulation, and a worldly telethon. Sadly, we have come to point of rationalizing this modern form of ‘money-changing’ as normal and acceptable in the church.

A prophetic portrait comes into view when looking at the death sentence that was passed upon these three men as they chose to take the place of ‘high priest’ in the presence of God and minister to His people. In the new and better covenant – Jesus Christ alone is our high priest. The true church and ministers of the Lord are those who make disciples of Christ rather than taking the place of Christ in the lives of others rather than making disciples of themselves. In today’s modern church, many have created disciples of themselves – The words of truth comes through their teaching. Healing power comes through their hands. The abundant life and prosperity comes through the tithing and offering into their ministry. Spiritual promotion and growth comes through obedience to their vision. Thus, the emphasis of what ‘man’ can do becomes the barometer of spiritual affirmation rather than simple obedience to Christ. I have stated in previous articles that “the highest form of worship is simple obedience to God’s Word and voice.” Isn’t this what it all boils down to at the end of the day? To go into all of the world and create disciples of Jesus, the following fruit will be produced: We will teach and encourage all believers who are willing to share and preach the Word…Even behind a pulpit, and provide them a platform to express. We will send out equipped believers to lay hands on the sick and pray for those in need. We will encourage an interest in each others vision, spiritual gifts and talents, and cheerfully give to their success. This sounds like the ministry of Christ and the model that He gave us for the church to prosper and flourish.

The system of man-centered religion led to the downfall of Korah and his followers. It is interesting that out of these three men, two were not even Levites, yet were ‘ministering’ before the Lord and His people. We can conclude that two thirds of the ministers present at this service were not ordained by the Lord. Whether we want to believe it or not, there are those who are ordained by God and those who are ordained by man. Somehow, we have been brainwashed into believing that all men and women who are ‘ordained’ or went to some school and received a piece a paper to hang on the wall are genuine ministers. Beloved, God does not validate titles and certificates. He validates and affirms ‘function.’ We are all ministers of reconciliation and no single person is head or above another.

The ‘Korite doctrine’ that has reenforced its presence back into the assembly of God’s people has manifested as a counterfeit temple. The Old Testament Temple was a type and shadow of the finished work of Christ. It would be a people redeemed by His blood that would become a living temple and dwelling place of the Lord’s Spirit and presence. The New Testament temple is you and me. The Korite doctrine focuses and spends its resources and energy on the preservation of the present religious system. If many of today’s present and visible leaders were truly led and ordained by God, then I believe we would witness a whole lot of change and shaking going on. The Bible states in Matthew 25:31-46 that our resources, focus and energy should be meeting the needs of each other as God’s people. As a matter of fact, the Bible goes on to say that we will be judged by how we meet these needs toward one another. However, it seems that much of our focus has been conditioned to turn toward the supporting and sowing into the ordained of man for the purpose of reaping earthly blessing rather than simply meeting the needs of those who cross our path in life. Let’s be honest and admit that much of Christianity that is visible to the world via media and even the local church is based on sensual or self-serving needs and what God can do for me rather than simply blessing and adoring God. Simply put, much of the church is bad publicity in action and needy both physically and emotionally. We must note that we (the church) are the face of Christ to the lost and unbeliever. Are we attractive as His bride?

The spirit of the Constantinian church and the leadership model of today is drawing to a close. It will be the true ‘servants’ who will arise with a heart to restore the church back into the hands of the Lord to her original meaning and function as we continue entering into the kingdom model. Far too long we have played church and performed our way into irrelevance to a world that is searching for something real. When the church presents chronic neediness rather than victory – we present a powerless gospel. Those who are bound in the present church system know in their heart the frustration and the sense that something is incomplete and unfulfilling. The spiritual loneliness and irrelevancy that many are experiencing in the church is the failure of others to take an interest and investment in their vision. We can blame many things for this. However, we must take the blame personally. We have created an environment that spiritual validation and calling is recognized and released by the status quot leadership. Maybe its time we start encouraging and releasing one another. Better yet, let’s start taking an interest in one another. This is the TRUE church…