This is My House
Last call to the Church
Twice in my life I have heard a voice within me that I understood to be the voice of God. The second time was in July of 2001. I was in Africa, researching some mission organizations in preparation for moving our family to Africa to work with orphans. While there I hooked up with a youth group that was on a short-term mission trip. In Chimbalime, Malawi, we came across a local pastor who was speaking to some village kids. Soon the members of the American youth group started asking about a house they had noticed with flags over it. As it turned out, that house belonged to the village witch doctor. In Africa, a great many people who hear the message of the gospel are eager to raise their hands when asked if they wish to pray their acknowledgement of Jesus. So the American youth were a bit high on all the “conversions” they had witnessed, and now had it in their minds that they would love to see a witch doctor come to the Lord. So they convinced the local pastor to bring them to the witch doctor’s house, and hesitantly he did so.
Upon arrival at the house a crowd began to gather as is typical whenever “azungu” (white people) are present. A man came out of the house and we asked to talk to him. He sat down and listened as several of the white youth gave their testimonies. After about 20 minutes of talking, the man’s wife came out of the house and began to listen as well. This is when the Lord spoke to me. When the wife came out of the house He said, “She is your target.” And with the word came the knowledge and the conviction that this woman was actually the witch doctor; her husband was not. Of course the American youth were oblivious to this and were throwing every witnessing trick in the book at the man who sat quietly listening and nodding. I leaned over to the group leader and whispered to him that the woman was the witch doctor. He said nothing, but just kept watching the witnessing.
Eventually, the youth stopped and asked the man what he thought. He said in simple Chichewa, “I believe what you have told me.” The Americans were stunned. They expected an argument – but he simply believed and sat there. Eager to see some proof that he believed, the youth insisted that the old man should take down all the satanic flags and symbols about the house. The old man nodded and said, “I cannot because they are not mine, they belong to my wife.” And he pointed to his wife who was standing frigidly upright in the doorway.
Of course everyone was surprised; they had converted the wrong person! They had wanted a witch doctor, so now they all turned to her and began to discuss whether or not she believed. She indicated that she did believe the things that the group had said, but that she would not repent of her witchcraft because of the healing power which it had brought to her personal life.
Many more minutes passed as they tried to convince her. She believed – indeed she knew the gospel to be true! But she would not repent from her witchcraft. In the end, we left behind us an unrepentant woman who believed but would not walk in the truth. I ask you to remember this image.
Halfway across the world in Washington State and three and half years earlier, the same voice had spoken to me. I was driving down a familiar stretch of highway on my way to work. I had driven this road many times, but this time I was keeping my eyes open for a piece of land or a building that I could buy in order to allow a small group of people to meet. The fellowship that I was attending was meeting in houses and we were growing to the point of needing more room.
As I drove past a small cabin on the side of the road I noticed a “For Sale” sign. The cabin was in horrible condition; the roof was caving in, the windows were all broken, the door was ajar and hanging on one hinge. Really it looked like a person could push the building over. It was small and uninviting. As I pondered the old cabin the voice said, “This is My house.” Because of what was in my mind at the time, I assumed that God wanted me to buy that particular piece of property for the new church. But as I researched the property later that week, it became obvious that it was not something that was going to work for our church. It was years later that I realized what God really meant, and it has been several years since that realization to the writing of this essay.
As I write this message, I realize that the conversation never stopped for God. What seemed like two completely separate pieces of information, were actually one thought: “This is My house; she is your target.” This essay is the result of my current understanding of what God was telling me. It is written for the church, to the church, and about the church. This is a message to all of us. I am not excluded from the characterizations that I will be using in this writing. If there is a difference between you as the reader and myself as the author, it is this: I have already heard this message and have decided my course of action. You are hearing it now and you can decide how to react.
Some may find this message negative and pessimistic. Some may find it insulting to the church and to God. However, I encourage you not to think of this as a judgment, but as a warning of judgment to come. What you do with this message will determine how that judgment plays out for you.
When I use the word church, I am including all who have heard the name of Jesus and profess belief in that name. No matter if you have “left” a physical church, are in a home fellowship, walk alone with the Lord, or are part of a large organized church, you are all the church as defined by this message.
With that said, let us begin what I believe is the last call to the church.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus uttered these words to Peter - “upon this rock I will build my church” (Mat 16:18). When those words were spoken, Jesus was the leader of this new “religion” or denomination. By the time Paul was preaching, disagreements had already begun creeping into the church.
Paul specifies several groups of people that were teaching “another gospel:”
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed (Gal 1:6-9)!
John also refers to a group of people that were teaching “wrong” theology:
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him (1 Jo 2:22-29).
In Galatians, chapter 2, we read about disagreements between Paul and Peter.
Today, according to David Barrett et al, editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions - AD 30 to 2200," there are over 34,000 identifiable separate Christian groups that have been identified in the world. "Over half of them are independent churches that are not interested in linking with the big denominations."
Within most of these 34,000 separate groups, there are many churches, each of which holds to their own specific beliefs. Within each of these churches there are individuals who don’t agree with one another about a great many things. Things like whether Jesus was or is divine, whether Mary was a virgin, and whether God is a trinity. Other areas of disagreement are the disposition of the unbeliever, the inerrancy of scripture, spiritual gifts, and the proper way to perform baptism and communion. The list goes on and on.
I could list all the main precepts of the Christian faith. After reviewing them, first of all, each of you reading my list would disagree on whether or not I had actually listed all the precepts. Secondly, in regard to the issues I had listed, each of you would have your own opinion on each one of them. We’d agree on some and disagree on others. Some of you would simply not know what opinion is the “correct” opinion and would possibly defer to your pastors (who would also disagree on many points). Yet there is only one true spiritual worship. Everything else is religion.
In John 4, Jesus was asked which Jewish religion was the best. His response was that a time would come when all that worshiped would worship in spirit and in truth. Today, Christians are still trying to figure out which way is the “right” way. Each denomination, each church, each believer, walks in a certain assurance that their way is the best way. There are large numbers of Christians who actually don’t really care what the truth is. They either believe that the truth is not obtainable, or they are simply following what others tell them is the truth. This group of people would gladly unite all churches, but ignore the truth in the process. This is the basic tenant of the modern ecumenical movement. It is equal in its deceit, as the disaccord is in its pride. The faithful adherents to traditional Christianity find themselves in the same debate as the disciples: Who is the greatest (Luke 9:46)? They don’t recognize that they are in this debate; in their minds they are simply seeking the truth.
Sometimes this debate is obvious and vocal. History records periods where this debate has been violent with the death of huge groups of Christians or non-Christians who dared to think or believe differently than the established denomination of the time. Other times the debate is much more subdued and buried behind cute jokes and knowing smiles. “We, of course, love our fellow believers, even though they are ever so slightly misguided in their worship.” Other times it is even more subtle; we don’t even realize that we are comparing ourselves, but we are.
In the Garden before His death, Jesus prayed a particular prayer for the believers that would believe on His name after His death. This is the prayer:
"I do not ask on behalf of these[the disciples] alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:20-26).
Does God answer his own prayers? How can it be that Jesus can pray this prayer for us? Can you see that we have completely failed this prayer? Are we one? If we believe that God will answer this prayer, then we must also acknowledge that he has not yet done so. The serious part of this is that Jesus made a statement about houses that were divided:
And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end (Mark 3:23-26).
This was not just an idle statement; it was a prophecy. The house of God, as understood by Christianity, was never planned to stand, but to fall. More explanation of this will be offered later in this writing, but let us first explain the reason for the division and animosity between, and even within, denominations claiming the name of Christ.
In most of the various Christian groups, the preachers, pastors, and priests, as well as many of the authors and laity, will preach their messages under the all- powerful claim that God gave them the message. We hear many statements such as – “God says this,” or “The spirit led me to say that,” or “Scripture tells us such and such,” etc…
While they are each claiming their messages and instructions are from God, many times they are in direct opposition to each other. We hear preachers saying that a particular passage of scripture means one thing, while some other author claims it to mean something entirely different. We also see passages of scripture that directly seem to contradict each other. It is no small wonder that we have so many different Christian churches. But how can we understand this? Can we ever worship in spirit and truth when almost everybody understands a different truth and claims the Spirit told them that truth? How can we claim that God protects His word and then see so many different ways of reading it? How is it possible to know any truth?
In our being we have three modes of existence, three bodies. We have a physical body, a spirit, and a soul. Scripture tells us that God speaks to His people. The word of God comes to us in many ways, but whether it enters through the eye, the ear, or the heart, the first place it goes is to the spirit. Here the word is heard by the spiritual ears and is translated into a language that we understand (Rom 8:26). It matters not whether the spiritual ears received it directly from the Spirit of God or whether they heard a person speak or whether they read a book, including scripture. In all these cases they hear the word with their spiritual ears. If they have no spiritual ears, they do not hear the word. God is in the business of growing spiritual ears.
Once the word has been heard, it is then translated and sent on to the heart and mind. This area is known as the soul. The soul interprets the word. Unfortunately, the soul is also the home of our idols. All our wants and desires and preconceived ideas are housed here. Our traditions, our pressures, etc., all find a home in our soul. So our interpretation is skewed by all the elements within our soul.
Once interpreted, the word is then sent on to the body where it is applied. That is, the word is acted (or not acted) upon. We preach a message, teach a lesson, do something, or do nothing, but we act upon the heard, translated, and interpreted word. Of course, the body has its own problems. There are issues of self control, temptation, laziness, and gluttony. To mention a few.
As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity for us to get the word of God wrong. First, we may not even hear it. Then, we could hear it, but mistranslate it. These first two errors are because of faulty spiritual ears.
Once we pass the barely heard and/or mistranslated message on to the soul, the soul completely corrupts the message based on our traditions, ideologies, and desires. This is just as true when we read scripture as when we received the word from the spirit. Either way, first we must hear the word through the spirit and then move it through this process. Eventually the corrupted message reaches our body for action. We act, teach, or preach incorrectly, but we have enough spiritual memory to remember that the word originally came from God, and so in our incorrectness we say, “God told me…”
It is very much like the old game of telephone, only the consequences are much more serious (see Ezekiel 14, Jeremiah 23).
This is why one person can have a completely different interpretation of scripture than another person, and why one person can hear God saying one thing while another hears God saying something opposite. It is not God who is having trouble communicating. It is all part of His plan, but it is our idols and sin that prevent us from understanding truth. The problem becomes complicated by the fact that once in a while we get it right! When this happens, we quickly build up a sense of pride in our “closeness” to God or to the truth. This causes future interpretations to become clouded and we are back where we were before, but now we have followers who watched us “get it right.” They feed the pride and soon we are hearing God saying all sorts of things that He simply is not saying. Many cult followings and denominations had just such a start – an original truth that has had many lies piled on top of it. None of us are immune to this problem. So the times when the true voice of God is heard, translated, interpreted, and then acted upon correctly are rare.
Understanding these concepts allows us to see why there are so many different opinions about what is true. It also demonstrates why each person or denomination is so adamant that they are the ones that are true and that others are wrong.
As you remember, when the Israelites were in the wilderness they grew sick of the manna. The manna represents spiritual food – the word of God. The problem is that once we have had a taste of the word of God, we want more…more…more! So we begin to manufacture “words.” Like the Hebrew people in the wilderness we long for “better words.” We long for quail (flesh) or for the food of Egypt (the world). It is at this stage that we begin to fall for the trap of magic.
By magic, I mean the attempts to accomplish goals, whether righteous or wicked, by means of some power other than God.
For most, the source of power other than God is simply our own power. In other words, the work of our flesh. We long to understand God better or to serve Him more effectively. We desire to be “right.” We need to feel we are “in favor” with God. We find ourselves manufacturing acts of God. We create prophecies, healings, and miracles.
This is not a new problem for the church, but it has become so overwhelming now that it is hardly even noticed; rather it is applauded. How many of you have seen the miracle hankies you can get if you donate to a particular television ministry? Some of you have seen holy water that can be obtained for a donation. Then there is the whole Word of Faith movement that believes and teaches that if we confess something to be true and believe it enough, God will bring blessings our way.
Of course many of us are aware of the fallacy of these teachings, but we quickly run to the bookstore to buy the next book that has the secret to breaking free or living free or living the spirit-filled life. We hope that each of these books has that special formula that will get our spiritual life where we want it to be. Of course none of them do, but we keep trying. How about the Prayer of Jabez? That was really big for a while. It was even advertised as a book that would benefit believers and non-believers. The whole point was that people could widen their tent and prosper. Whether that prospering was spiritual or physical was not what was important – just getting in on the magic prayer.
Experiencing God held our attention for awhile; and the current fad is The Purpose Driven Life. We embrace each new release with the hope that it has the magic formula that will get us closer to God. We assume that these “great” men of God wrote something we don’t know in these books. Right? But which men of God from the scriptures charged people to hear what God had shown them?
Tell a Christian pastor your spiritual problems and he’s likely to suggest you pray more, read your Bible more, attend church more, etc… Each of us can come up with several techniques that we have heard our pastors or friends give. There is always another process to improve your spiritual condition, but as you may have noticed – nothing is working!
We even have a magic prayer that gets us saved! “Simply say these words after me and you too can be saved.” We call it the sinner’s prayer. In the end, it is all about the incantation of the words. We don’t think of it that way, but that is the source of our actions. The Catholic Church instructs its parishioners to repeat prayers for the absolution of sin. This is identical to the mantras used by New Age and pagan religions. Other denominations have their own rituals that are believed to bring us closer to God.
Scripture shows that God is quite clear on how He feels about the use of magic and the works of the flesh, but Christianity has ignored Him.
With this being the state of Christianity, why don’t we see ourselves for who we are? When are we going to be honest with the condition of Christianity? I mean really honest? People go to church afraid that someone might know them for who they really are. They can’t admit to their failings because that would imply that they are not in the spiritual condition they are supposed to be in. So they all walk around pretending to be walking in victory. But where is the victory? In the news we hear of many pastors, priests, and preachers failing publicly. We see mainstream leaders going through divorces or getting arrested or being caught in embarrassing situations.
The rate of abortion, teen pregnancy, divorce, and unfaithfulness is no better among Christians than it is among unbelievers! In our own lives we are still caught by the same sins that held us years earlier. We try different things and nothing works for more then a short period of time. Then again, many Christians don’t even care about the way they live – they are counting on the grace of God and walking any way they choose.
We have set before ourselves idols. These idols come in many forms. Some are instruments of immorality – idols of pleasure. We spend time and money on these idols and thereby worship them with our resources. These are the idols of the flesh, and we have seen plenty of preachers preach about these kinds of idols.
What we don’t hear pastors preaching about are the idols of the soul and spirit. Here are some idols that seem pure on the surface:
These are all false gods! At the core of each of these idols is the sense that we can DO something to insure our place in heaven or our favor with God or man. They seem like good concepts, but when they are absent of faith – they are sin.
Like the witchdoctor in Malawi, Christianity is unwilling to give up its witchcraft because it perceives its sorceries as its only path to life and success. Without her “good works” Christianity feels dead. She teaches that salvation is of faith, but she walks out her true belief – that the only measure of her life is her works. Christianity claims to understand the truth, but refuses to repent from her idolatry. Christians perceive their action and involvement in church and “God’s work” as their life blood. But so much of it is the work of the flesh. The sad thing is that that which Christians call life, is actually death!
"And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth" (Rev 18:22-24).
The proclamation on the house of the Lord in the first century has repeated itself in this century:
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN’ ” (Mat 21:13).
By now, some of you are thinking the thought that many believers think when they hear Christianity called a religion. They think, “Christianity is not a religion; it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” I agree that the work begun by Christ was just that; however, as Sam Pascoe once noted, "Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise."
Christians are individuals who attend churches (whether home fellowships or formal meetings in buildings) that are part of the Christian religion. Their religion is Christianity.
Within this religion, there are many people who are having fellowship with God through Jesus Christ in a real and meaningful way. These people are in the midst of a spiritual relationship. That relationship is separate and distinct from their religion. But their religion is still Christianity. So what shall we call this relationship so as to distinguish it from the religion? I am going to call it Rest.
Now it is only rest when all the religion has been removed from it. Until then it is some combination of rest and religion. While this still has some value in that it may lead to rest, the test of time has shown us that in most cases, in the struggle between rest and religion, rest almost never wins. The point is that the religion of Christianity and the rest of abiding in Jesus Christ are opposing concepts.
We must learn that our battle is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). Only by repenting of our efforts in the flesh will we be able to rest in the Lord. The very things that we are walking in – this witchcraft of the flesh – are the works that bring about our destruction.
God is calling us to repent! Christians have always treated repentance as something we do when we get back into church. We repent from our waywardness and pledge to become more involved in “God” and His ways. The only way we know to do this is to become more involved in the church. By this we find satisfaction. We buy and sell our religion and negotiate with God for our ticket to heaven. This is not the repentance that I am talking about. The repentance I am talking about is to repent from our sin. Repent from our religion. Repent, not into Christianity, but out of it. Jesus is still overturning tables in the temple.
Often God will bring His people to the place of rest via the route of forcing them to give up. He often has to bring people to a point of helplessness in order to lead them to rest. Resting implies not only the understanding of the uselessness of our uncalled actions; it also implies the attitude of trust. We are not just giving up and waiting to see what happens, we are actively trusting in the character of God and His plan to bring creation to righteousness. Resting is something that we are led to, by God.
To define the rest I am talking about, let us look at John 15.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (5) "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (6) "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (7) "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (8) "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (9) "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. (10) "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. (11) "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (12) "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. (13) "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:4-13).
The point is quite clear: only by abiding in Christ can you bear fruit. It is Christ from which all life comes. Anything that we do, no matter how humanitarian or self-sacrificing, is death unless we do it in faith. We can only walk in faith if we abide in Christ. To abide in Christ, all of our personal idols, ambitions, and desires must be set aside, and death must take place within us.
There is no admonition to grow ourselves or bear fruit other then what the Father asks of us. We are simply called to bear what we are made to bear according to how the Father created us. We are called to abide in the vine, for from it comes all life.
We must be circumcised in our desire to be more spiritual or to gain knowledge. The hypocrisy in which we walk must be put away. Pretending to have spirituality that we don’t possess must come to an end, but our desire should be for humility and integrity. We must learn that what we thought we were in our arrogance and pride, we are not; and our understanding is sorely lacking. We must find our rest and abiding in Jesus.
We come before the Lord and He alone must instruct us. We must stop depending on preachers and teachers who themselves are caught up in the same lack of integrity, and in pride. We must begin to go directly to God for our bread and to be satisfied with the bread He gives us.
Our act of abiding is not a willful act. We are not resolving to rest. Instead we watch as the Lord brings us to rest by the circumcision of our flesh. This is an act that God leads us into, not one that we run toward.
Christianity is about to undergo tremendous change. The time is coming when the shepherds will fall. We must learn to hear the word of God directly. This comes through rest. Christians are expecting a rapture, but they should realize that they cannot come into the presence of the Bridegroom until they have made themselves ready. They must be purified.
We need to realize that Christianity was never meant to bring in the kingdom. It was meant to fail! Just as Israel before it, Christianity was a vehicle of blindness. It is a tool to illustrate the failure of religion and to trumpet the triumph of God alone. The Christian religion is already lost in its sorceries. This is why the Lord warns us, “Come out of her my people” (Rev. 18:4), because judgment will start at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). As Eve came out of the body of the sleeping Adam, so the Bride (a remnant) will come out of the sleeping body of Christ. And as God calls for the remnant to come out, we see that immediately following the fall of the Christianity, the Bride is presented:
For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (Rev 19:2, 7-8).
You may ask, “How is it that Christianity has become equated with Babylon?” I will tell you. Christianity has been committing fornication with the world for 2,000 years, just as Revelation tells us. In the eyes of God, they have become one flesh. As the type of a religion Christianity takes on the form of the whore of Babylon – a would-be queen that will be disappointed. But also as the type of Christ, Christianity takes on the form of the body of Christ, and as such it must suffer and die, its side must be split open, and out must come the spotless bride.
This writing is a call, repeated from scripture and for
this time in history:
Come out of her my people…
God is calling us to repent from and come out of the Christianity and to rest in Him.
When coming out of something, the natural question becomes – Come out into what? Rest is not well defined; if it were it would not be rest. In many ways, coming into this rest is a death. It is a death to self in every regard. We must come to the place where we lay our hearts before the Father and trust Him to direct us. As individuals, this is accomplished by God at varying times. However, there is another kind of rest as well – a rest that works on a corporate level.
As you may realize, the history of the world since Adam has consisted of 6,000 years. We can look at this as six days. The seventh day is a day of rest. Is it any wonder that as we enter the seventh day, that God would issue a call to His people to enter into rest? But as we already noted, Christianity is caught up in doing its work of the flesh. Corporately, Christianity does not honor the seventh day as their day of rest. Instead, they honor the eighth day. What does this mean legally? It means that corporately, Christianity will keep working even as the God-given day of rest is beginning.
The consequence of working on the Sabbath is death. If we do not wish to be part of this “work on the Sabbath,” we must come out of Christianity. Work will be accomplished during this seventh millennium, but it will be the work of God. By corporately coming out of the body, the bride enters into corporate rest and waits on God to work within her. While it would seem that both the body and the bride are working, the work that each group performs is different in nature. This difference is demonstrated in Ezekiel 44. This is a critical scripture, and even though I am not going to place the text within this document, I strongly urge you to read this chapter right now. It clearly testifies to the two works of God.
If you have read Ezekiel 44, then you will see that the work is different for the bride (sons of Zadok), than it is for the body (the unfaithful Levites). The work of the body causes sweat – it is fleshly work. The work of the bride is work that does not cause sweat – it is the spiritual work of God. Indeed, it is actually rest.
I want to add a personal note to finish this writing. I wrote the above essay, as I felt led of God, during a 40 day period. This period started on the Day of Atonement and ended on my 40th birthday. Prior to this, God indicated to me that He was going to have me write something, and that He was going to show me His rest. In fact, beginning on the Day of Atonement and continuing until my 40th birthday, my personal life was affected in many small ways that are difficult to explain and would only bore you anyway. To me, these things demonstrated that God was, indeed, showing me a token of His rest. But when the writing was completed, I did not feel the release from God to distribute it – something was missing. Months later I am finally able to distribute this writing, having come to the conclusion that what was missing was this section (Suffice).
Understanding these truths and the truths presented on the web site mentioned above are not issues of the mind. These are matters of the heart. There is always a fear associated with the unknown, but we are moving into a time when we must be willing to walk in that “unknown.” As it was spoken when the wandering sons Israel crossed the Jordan – we “have not passed this way before” (Joshua 3:4).
Scripture is clear that a bride will become ready. A remnant will overcome. So my admonition to each of us is to seek the kingdom of God, to find the hidden remnant bride, to walk in the faith that God gives us, to let go of fear and pride, to learn love and humility, and to do this all by resting in Him – as individuals and as a corporate bride.
There is a great history of “coming outs” in scripture. Each time, that which is left behind undergoes a form of destruction. The plan and story of God moves on with those that come out. Each movement was a work of God – that which was ending and that which was beginning. Now we find ourselves at a point in history where once again a work of God (Christianity) is ending, and another work (a remnant bride) is beginning. Which work has God given you the grace in which to walk?