If you have not yet done so, start by reading the Martin Luther post. It is the first in this series on finishing the Reformation. This post is the second.
It was 10:50pm and I was busy on my computer uploading some new teachings to my server. God kept interrupting me. He probably called to me, quite strongly, 10 times in 10 minutes. Finally, at 11:00pm, I gave in and I put the computer away.
“God, you have called me to be a prophet. But I don’t really know what a prophet is or what a prophet is supposed to do.”
I am going to tell you a secret about me. I am a prophet, and I hear the voice of God well. But I don’t know scripture as well as I should. I know the gospels more than anything because Jesus is my favorite person featured in the Bible, so I love His stories the most. So God said to me, “Open up 1 Samuel and let’s begin.”
Wow. I have read Scripture before, but I have never had God read scripture to me at that level. He highlighted the scriptures to me in a way that I have never seen. And then for the next two weeks, almost every day or even multiple times a day, I encountered something else where what He taught me that night in 1 Samuel came to be quite handy.
In 1 Samuel, Samuel was a prophet, raised in the temple. Samuel was raised with God, alongside the priest Eli. God ruled His people through Samuel. Samuel was not a King; he was just a voice. He was a steward of rulership, so to speak. But the people rejected God as their King, and they wanted a man as a King to rule over them. They got Saul. And man has ruled over God’s people ever since that day.
Authoritarianism. This is the principality that traps the people. It is what has replaced God as king with man being king. It is not only the pastors, but the pastors are the most common place. They have become our kings and replaced God. Authoritarianism is as Saul, so to speak.
What is Authoritarianism?
It is a hierarchy. It is a structure. It is a thing that says “pastor is master.” It says “you are not all equal in Christ.” It defies the priesthood of every believer. It is the thing that Christians settle into, like settling into kindergarten because they never want to have to go to college, or enter the workforce.
It is like a human parent trying to rule over a child and discipline them. Hence the belt featured picture in this post.
If there is a person clearly in charge and dominating the regular church meeting, you likely have authoritarianism.
If anyone believes there is a hierarchical authority structure to the various callings, you have authoritarianism. For example, there are those who believe Apostles are first in authority, and then Prophets, and then Evangelists etc. They misuse and misquote scripture to come up with these theories. But Jesus taught us not to lord over one another.
If we are all members of one body in Christ, how can one body part say to the other, “Behold, I am more important than you” – it cannot rightfully do so. Every part has an important task, even when those tasks are different at different times.
The occasional teaching by a matured teacher or fivefold minister to help equip the saints, these are good things still. But that is not the same as the current structure of church. I am not envisioning a church where we change from pastors dominating to teachers dominating. I envision a transition from men ruling, to God ruling THROUGH men. A place where all can come and be ministered to in the fullness of the spirit. All of the members of the body. Let’s talk about college and the workforce.
College is a theoretical knowledge. But it is not the workforce. If our saints are ever going to mature and become a Bride prepared for Christ, we MUST get the practical hands-on experience, not just theory. Most Christians are staying in college forever, because they are taught this is what they are supposed to do. Or, they are told “Do not forsake the fellowshipping of the brethren” and then they are told that this authoritarian structure is the fellowshipping of the brethren. But in reality, people are given very little time before or after the authoritarian meeting to have fellowship or ministry. Maybe they have little home group meetings here and there. This does not fix the core issue though – the very structure of what we are founded on is incorrect.
So how do the saints mature and get into the workforce? By learning, hands-on.
Hearing God…Do We Really Want That?
If you asked 100 pastors if they wanted their congregation to hear from God regularly, likely at least 99 of them would not like this idea. They might say otherwise, but if I offered to come in and teach hearing God, many would weasel their way out of it. The pastors would feel challenged. And that is because these modern churches are their kingdoms, and there is little to no room for God in them.
Remember John 11:48? “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” The priests and pharisees were afraid of their kingdom being removed once people believed in Jesus. Likewise, so are pastors afraid that if the people become matured in Christ, their churches will no longer be full. The pastors operate in authority above what they were designed to have. Many pastors crash and burn because of this. Or they are way overworked.
I want my kids to do better than me in life. I want them to be twice the man I am. I want them to be more matured and successful than me. I also want them to grow up and move out of my house one day and to become successful on their own, as matured adults. But most pastors, deep down, do not genuinely want this for their congregations. Many fear the people will no longer need their sermons and pay their paychecks. Many others just operate with the system they have always known, and they are doing their best within this system.
If pastors had the ability by themselves to mature the saints (they don’t), and they actually matured their entire congregation to a point that the congregation no longer needed them, then the pastors would work themselves out of a job (unless we redefine what their job is, hint hint). Therefore, the goal is not to help prepare the Bride; it is instead to build little kingdoms and keep people trapped inside them to finance the little kingdoms. And these kingdoms are not the “fellowshipping of the brethren” spoken about in scripture. These kingdoms are the very thing that Jesus said not to do. “The Gentiles Lord over each other, but it shall not be so amongst you.” And yet it is.
This is suppressing God’s people. It is keeping them as babes. The people have become ok with spoon-fed Christianity, which will not prepare the Bride. As a mother bird tossing her baby bird out of the nest so the baby can learn to fly, so we must do this with the Christians in the churches. They MUST learn to operate in the spirit of Love and in power. And the current church structure fails at this, because pastors have taken the place of God. And you know what – most pastors did not intentionally do this. It is something they have walked into. Most pastors feel the burden of all of their congregations looking at them as though they have taken the place of God for the people. And it is hard on them. TONS of saints rushing to every pastor with every burden they have. It is too much for the pastors to handle, and it is more than they were designed to handle. The pastors need rest.
There are also many men of God with genuine callings who have assumed the role of the pastor, since that is one of the few recognized roles throughout the church. But God has been restoring the apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers – and it is time the pastors rediscover what they were truly created for. This authoritarian system is like a hamster wheel, taking men of God with genuine callings on their lives, and then putting them inside a trap where they just run and run and never break free. Many of them feel that if they leave the hamster wheel, they will be walking away from God. But what if God was never the hamster wheel?
You of Little Faith, Let’s Walk on Water
It will require faith for someone to change from what they have always known to a brand new thing. To step out and attempt to walk on water, Peter had to have faith. He indeed did walk on water. And that was with just a little faith.
When we hear God call to us, and we respond – we are acting in faith. And God meets us there. My encouragement to you is to find some mature fivefold ministers and discuss these things with them. What does it actually take to mature the Bride in Christ-likeness? Clearly the current structure is not working. We mature them in religion, but not in Christ. If they become like Christ, they start doing the things Christ did. The healings. The miracles. Operating in the gifts. Operating in incredible love. These are the signs of becoming more like Christ.
Waiting in Faith
Waiting upon God. Waiting in Faith. Being still and allowing God to speak. These are the things that have seemingly been lost to most people. If you have ever studied and successfully learned healing ministry as Christ did it, you will understand the concept of waiting in faith. Many people just pray for healing and then walk away hoping it will eventually come. But those who stay plugged in and wait in faith often find the healing occurs on the spot. Waiting in faith just does not look overly impressive on the outside because it is something occurring on the inside. But as we wait in faith, then God shows up and works.
As we enter the room that reflects my vision, we must be prepared to wait in faith and step out as God speaks to each of us.
One practical thought I just had as I write this. Starting with the prophets is a good place, for if a person comes in and hears from God that way, they will know this is a place with the spirit of God. And the faith will be easier to receive for healing and other things. Some of the church has struggled a lot with believing for visible miracles. So if it helps, then start with prophecy. But we need matured prophets that operate in love, for immature prophets can bring much harm.