If you have been in a 'church' for any period you will probably have heard that a 'revival is coming'
I believe that it is here already (available for all since the first Pentecost) ...but that it will NOT be experienced in 'churches' ...unless and UNTIL the following changes are made :-
1) GRACE and TRUTH...this alone is to be preached as it is what sets people free (rather than religion which is bondage)
2) CONTROL...is taken from men and returned to Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God
3) VESTED INTERESTS...integrity restored and vested interests removed
If I had the boldness I would add ....THUS SAITH THE LORD....but let us examine what the scriptures teach because like the Bereans we should all be of noble character (Acts 17:11-12)....and see what He HATH SAID!
1) GRACE and TRUTH
When the Law is taught the message of 'grace and truth' or the gospel is the victim...and people are BLINDED
2 Cor 3:14-18
For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. NKJV
Until God's people are NO LONGER put under the Law (the last bastion which almost every grace teacher worldwide seems unable to let go of is the deception of 'storehouse money tithing')....they will not be swept away in the glorious liberty of the children of God.....which is what the WORLD is looking for!
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. NKJV
The world is not seeing christians walking in 'glorious liberty' but in religious bondage and guilt and condemnation....Why would they want that?
The message of grace is this....Jesus did it ALL for us on the cross....there is NOTHING we have to do to be saved and blessed or healed ....OTHER THAN to have FAITH in Him!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." NKJV
If you preach the Law to God's people instead of the gospel ...they will never fully understand the RIGHTEOUSNESS which they have in Christ because it is not revealed by the Law....but by FAITH alone.
The law is still preached in most evangelic and pentecostal churches today when they preach tithing. Tithing is OF THE LAW according to Jesus (Mat 23:23)..and Hebrews (Heb 7:5). The Law is NOT of faith (Gal 3:12). Preaching of this deception causes God's people be blinded and to come under 'the curse of the Law'!
8 But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren NKJV
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." NKJV
Brethren, slaves do NOT "rule over" (Heb 13:7, 17 and 24)...or control their brethren...they wash their feet! Hebrews refers to those who lead meaning those who 'go before and can show you the way'....they are still no more than BRETHREN...according to Jesus anyway! (Mat 23:8)...note the word ALL!
To leaders who exalt themselves by giving themselves titles and demanding submission and obedience ...... (because of the deliberate mis-translation of Heb 13:17) ..... ...I say ..."What part of Jesus' command 'it shall not be so among you' do you fail to understand?"
3 John 9-11
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. NKJV
The bible says controlling leadership in which a man is exalted above his BRETHREN is EVIL!
17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. NKJV
1 Cor 3:3
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? NKJV
Do you have a membership system in your church?....and do you exclude those who will not 'obey and submit' to your church's rules and your leadership?
Do you divide the body which Jesus prayed would be ONE? (John 17:21-21)...Is there any wonder the world has so little interest in becoming christians?
No sane, bible knowing, Spirit filled believer should EVER submit to ungodly controlling leadership which exhalts itself!
3) VESTED INTERESTS
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?
13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." NKJV
The true riches we all desire is for the Spirit of God to flow freely though us to touch the world for Christ.
When you have an ulterior motive it is highly unlikely that you will preach the full truth!
If you want more members for your church and have an eye on 'tithing revenues' rising, so that your income stream is more secure...or so that you can employ more 'pastors' and build bigger buildings and preach on TV....THEN the message you preach IS corrupted...and you are NOT serving God!
God warns the world that they should NOT trust COVETOUS preachers
For I will stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD.
13 "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness ;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely. NKJV
The world today does NOT trust the church worldwide to preach the truth about God...because it is NOT preaching the truth about their money! Most believe that churches are primarily "after your money"....and sadly when we watch what purports to be christian TV we could hardly disagree.
Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Acts 20:25-35; 2 Thes 3:6-12; 1 Cor 9:15-18)
18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things. NKJV
This is a severe warning against the 'get rich quick' merchants of the prosperity doctrine....who scam the body in their greed. This includes those who preach tithing so that God will 'open the windows of heaven'.....when in the New Covenant God 'HAS blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 1:3)....and all that is required is FAITH in the love and provision of our Father for us.
3.1 Churches have become businesses
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise !" NKJV
13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'" NKJV
This scripture is recorded in ALL 4 gospels so that we do not miss it. (Mk 11:17, Luke 19:46)
Many churches (who claim to be building the kingdom of God) today have CEO's and financial administrators and are set up as worldly corporations....Jesus said 'MY kingdom is NOT of this world'
The stench of coveteousness is keeping many sane unbelievers far away from churches!
3.2 Preaching has become an industry
The wages of the worker is worthy of are those Jesus defined as HOSPITALITY (Mat 10:7-10) or keep and were NEVER a salaried position!
These are the same wages as defined in Luke 9:1-6 and Luke 10:1-10...see the context ...Jesus certainly was NOT teaching that they should be paid a salary to do a job!
Preachers when you 'take a salary' it is not unreasonable for the people of the world to conclude that what you are doing is a 'job' because it is what you are being paid to do....and that you ARE serving MAMMON contrary Luke 16:13
1 Cor 9:13-14
13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
The only thing the Lord commanded the apostles to receive was hospitality...NEVER money or MAMMON. The above scripture refers to Mat 10:7-10 and Luke 10:1-10 which are the only place the Lord ever commanded what they should receive for ministering.
The only things that were ever offered on the altar to God in the Old Testament were different types of FOOD!
3 John 5-8
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 7 because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. NKJV
The apostles did NOT teach the Gentiles to tithe...they TOOK NOTHING! They said that those who FREELY offered HOSPITALITY and support were fellow workers! Tithing is NOT part of the Apostolic Doctrine.
Pastor...Is it your church and a 'ministry' which you are building up with an eye on the temporal rewards and your future income stream on earth?....or is it JESUS' church where the rewards will be eternal?
The Greek word 'diakonos' from which the word 'minister' is derived means SERVANT. This is distinguished from a slave who may work against his will and is also distinguished from a 'hireling' who works for wages. (Zondervan Bible Dictionary)
YOU ARE NOT A MINISTER (according to the bible) IF IT IS A JOB YOU ARE BEING PAID TO DO.....You then according to Jesus are a 'hireling'!
IF GOD gives you a message and a revelation of truth for the body ...how DARE you sell it? Why then are churches selling DVD's of teachings and books when the truth should be freely distributed.
Jesus commands ...'Freely you have received FREELY give'.
Church members are not willing to bring those they love to a place where they know they will be deceived and robbed blind....and also forced to endure listening endless guilt manipulation in an attempt to extort funds from the congregation by a preacher who 'wants their money' Especially when this is because he will not work and provide for his own needs.....or accept what is freely offered.
3.3 Worship leading has become a business about selling records and performance for entertainment
The bible says that 'the gospel is power of God unto salvation'....today most churches seem to believe that the major way to attract people is to have a great band!. Where is this in the New Testament? Where did Jesus choose a group of musicians to be part of HIS ministry? Did he roam the country singing songs to build up an 'atmosphere' for the presence of God to manifest?.....or pray at night and then preach the truth?
Worship is not when we sing songs....it is our lives lived as living sacrifices before our loving God. (Rom 12:1)
Are you worshipping God?...Or are you trying to build up your 'worship leading ministry'...so that you can sell records...or get offered a great job somewhere in a church or in the music industry?
The church does not need hundreds of new choruses and songs which 'worship leaders' perform for the body to applaud......we want simple and profound EASY SONGS which we can ALL participate in singing and worshipping GOD with....almost without even being aware of the musicians....and where only God gets the glory.
We do not need musicians to wow us with their natural talents. The body wants to glorify God for His incredible love for us to which we can all repond in song.
We certainly do not want to be assaulted by loud rock type music purporting to be worship. We do not need our flesh to be worked into a frenzy..... we want our hearts to be free to express themselves.
(PS Neither do we want to be told that we 'must dance' before the Lord....or yell and shout out in 'orchestrated' responses purporting to be praise... .we want to be FREE to worship God spontaneously as HE leads US!)