I have something powerful to share with y’all today, from my reading this morning in Ezekiel chapter 3. It just really stands out to me and is something I’ve said to Will several times as of late, but I thought I’d share it here on the blog as well, since we are coming across several believers, it seems, who are on the same page. And I can’t even begin to tell you how refreshing that is!!
You see, the American church system has failed us. Big time. It’s not a biblical model; it’s a business model. It doesn’t foster the atmosphere described in the book of Acts that was demonstrated in the early church. It isn’t designed for the members of the Body to reach their full potential in Christ, activate and exercise their individual spiritual gifts and callings, and collectively participate in the meeting-together of the saints. It’s become about the church building and not about the REAL church—which is the ekklesia: the called out ones. US…the people!!!! Did you know that!? I’ll say it again. The church is NOT the building. The Church is the people, the living stones, being built upon the Chief Cornerstone, Christ Jesus. So what does this simple statement mean? It means that if you are a born-again believer in Jesus, YOU are the temple of the Holy Spirit…YOU literally ARE the house of God…and anywhere YOU go, the church is there because you are there. Got it? That’s biblical. Scriptural. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I can back every bit of it up with Bible. This is something we’ve studied for 15 years because, having not been indoctrinated since birth in the church (neither of us were raised in “church”), we came into organized religion as I would suspect the majority of the west does. We were invited to a building as a form of “evangelism”–(it’s not! WE, believers, are each called to share the Gospel ourselves…not “invite people to church” in hopes that the pastor will tell them. Good grief, we are pansies), heard the Gospel (for the first time ever for me—I was 26 years old), immediately and completely surrendered everything to Christ as Lord and Savior—no take backs. Ever. Period. It was a Saul to Paul-type conversion. Radical. Amazing. Life-changing. On fire for Jesus 100%, full steam ahead. *I will note here, however, that we honestly found FEW, if any, people amongst all these congregations that had the same zeal and passion for following Christ! Why is that so rare INSIDE the “Church??!!” Being excited about the building you attend is completely different from being excited about CHRIST ALONE, nothing else attached.
I’m not trying to ruffle anyone’s feathers here, but I’m used to doing so honestly. Jesus, the disciples, the prophets, anyone who’s ever stood firm for Christ and has gone against the grain–we ruffle feathers. Always. And this was no different for us at the places we gathered. Because we were never content to check off boxes week after week with our church attendance, tithe paying, three songs and a sermon. No, for us, we HAD to have more of Jesus. We wanted so desperately to find out everything we could possibly know about Him, so we went straight to the Source—His Word. And guess what…we started reading and studying like crazy and we found things in the Bible that didn’t match up with what we were seeing and doing in the churches we were attending, and we were doing lots of things that we couldn’t find in the Word at all. And we wanted answers. So we would ask the pastors, and we would be looked down upon, given trite answers to try and pacify us, or even kicked out altogether. Man, pastors and “leadership” sure gets threatened when the people don’t just shut up and comply.
We were taught heretical and unbiblical doctrines (so are you), we saw every denominational divide imaginable, we saw some of the most rampant, blatant, and life-destroying sin imaginable—IN the “church,” and while it greatly affected us in so many ways, even more devastatingly so, it hurt our children…who are now grown and want absolutely NOTHING to do with Jesus because of all that they’ve seen and experienced in the “church.” This is the most heartbreaking thing to me, because we drug them through all of that, not having known any better ourselves. We honestly thought, “we MUST ‘go to church’ to find Jesus!!” THAT is what we were taught. And nothing could have been farther from the truth.
Now, before you stop reading (if you’ve made it this far, thank you…don’t stop yet), or jump to the conclusion that I’m hating on the church or maybe my kids are just complete rebels and it’s their own free will that has prevented them from coming to Christ (yes of course, that IS part of it—we are ALL rebels until we have a genuine revelation of WHO CHRIST IS and not just an indoctrination ABOUT HIM…also Jesus Himself had very stern words for those who would be a stumbling block for a child coming to Him), or maybe we just didn’t find the “right church” (in over a decade of going to MANY church buildings, signing the contracts, being “voted in for membership,” adhering to all the manmade and “church-board”-concocted rules, sitting in stuffy “business meetings,” and seeing more than our fair share of worldliness in leadership drama behind the scenes…I can make this claim with confidence…they are ALL the same…business models. Garbage.) or maybe it was our fault for ______(fill in the blank)…. Let me ask you this: where did you learn to have such a cold-hearted spirit that would even cause you to think such things? I am telling you right now that this system could very well have turned both Will and myself back to sin, Satan, and the world, had God and the power of the Holy Spirit not been SO strong, SO powerful, and SO alive in us—ALWAYS moving and leading us back to the Truth—His Word—our ultimate authority and highest standard. But had that happened and Satan won, we would be two lost souls headed straight for hell. And I’m telling y’all now, our three beautiful children (as of now) ARE those causalities. So again I ask you, if five precious souls were at stake here, does that not bother you? What about the COUNTLESS thousands upon millions and billions of others in the American/western “church” SYSTEM who have been lied to, hoodwinked, and deceived at every turn?? It should light a fire under your rear end to dig into God’s Word and begin to study DILIGENTLY and see if all of this is true AND seek the Lord like never before and see how He has called YOU, His ambassador, to make a difference in this world!!!
Did you know you were not saved (if you’re saved), just to “go to heaven?” Nope. There’s more. Sooo much more. You have a GREAT and awesome purpose AND command—to build the kingdom of God!!! To be a disciple yourself and make disciples of others!!! This was Jesus’ last direction to His disciples–the great commission–and it didn’t stop with them! He modeled it with and for them, and every disciple until the end of the age has this command and expectation on their life. And it’s NOT a “discipleship class” that you take inside the four walls of a church building. Can’t you see how we’ve taken this living, breathing, organic relationship and made it stale, stagnant, and another man-made “institution”?? What, then, is discipleship? We liken it to a journeyman/apprentice relationship. What does that mean? Jesus is our Journeyman—the Master of the craft (The Master…of EVERYTHING!!!) and we have been called to be His apprentices. We come up under the Master and we learn from Him-through studying His Word and by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us all things—sidenote: do you remember that Jesus said we have no need for anyone to teach us because the Holy Spirit would teach us all things!? Ok, I hope you remember and practice that and are taking responsibility for your OWN walk and growth, and not depending on a pastor to spoon-feed you week after week, with the majority of the “church.” Also, what Jesus showed the disciples to do, once they were trained, was to go and repeat the process—bring up more disciples under them. Walk with them, teach them all they knew, invest heavily into their lives, pour their very souls into these new disciples so that they would be equipped to go out and do the same thing. A process of multiplication. A VERY effective model, wouldn’t you say?? It produced many followers of Christ who were equipped and prepared, understood exactly what they believed and why, were able to stand firm on the Truth, sharing the Gospel, having the faith to work miracles, collectively bringing and utilizing their spiritual gifts for the good of all of the Body, encouraging one another through times of serious persecution and even martyrdom!? Man…THAT was the Church of power and might. THAT was the Church that our Jesus intended. THAT is the Church we are all called to be today. And this is the polar opposite of what we actually see.
We see a “church” that is fat, lazy, completely useless for the Kingdom of Christ and God—unfaithful and unfruitful. We look exactly like Israel did when they abandoned and rejected Yahweh. And we have SO many warnings about this spiritual idolatry, but we have ineffective and, highly likely, uncalled (of God) leadership. The blind leading the blind into a ditch. Or worse, straight to hell. Do you remember where Jesus tells us to beware the leaven of the Pharisees? These were the religious folk. Those who were all shiny and clean on the outside but inside full of death and decay. Their pious religious rituals did not earn them any favors with Christ or God. And our religious rituals today are the same stench in the nostrils of a Holy God, and that “little bit of leaven”–religion–has permeated the world, but as a tool of Satan, honestly. GOD is looking for what? True worshipers who worship Him in Spirit and Truth. The power of the Holy Spirit indwelling a man will produce a changed, well-equipped, Christlike man (or woman)…ALWAYS. No if’s, and’s, or but’s…no excuses…nothing less is acceptable to our Holy Father. Period. And Truth…what is Truth?? God’s Word is Truth—the ONLY TRUTH. How well do you know it? We are called to be able to rightly divide it. Can you do that? Again, the responsibility lies with every individual follower of Christ.
I know it may sound like it, but I’m not “beating up the church.” Not the true Church, the Body of Christ. We are so passionate with a righteous anger though, against this SYSTEM, this organized religion, this doctrine of demons and synagogue of Satan (as Jesus Himself called the religious of his day…please study this out for yourself–the parallels are uncanny.) Rather we LOVE, with the love of Christ, our brothers and sisters in the family of God and we are so indignant at what we see in modern-day “Churchianity” (the worship of the church—building!!) Because Satan has worked in incredible ways to make these institutions have the appearance of righteousness…the appearance of godliness…but lacking the POWER which is available to truly save souls!!!! By the way, this isn’t a surprise to God and He told us these things would happen in these last days. So we aren’t unaware. He is good and He always wants His people to be prepared. But this takes WORK, and the majority of the Body doesn’t want to put in the work. God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This is so true today…in a time and place of plenty and abundance, we’ve never had more of a famine of the COMPLETE AND TRUE, UNDEFILED WORD OF GOD.
I know that this is already getting long and I’m just pouring out my thoughts as the Holy Spirit leads, but I really hope you’ll read all the way to the end because He has really given me a powerful message this morning that I want to share with the world. I realize that many sitting in modern day church attendance are already so asleep that they will never wake up and will willfully go into hell, thinking all along they had a get-out-of-hell-free card. And my heart breaks for them. It truly does. That’s the reason I’m writing all of this today and that we have decided to start talking more about this on the podcast and all of our outlets. This is a true URGENCY and something God just won’t let us back down on. We have been Divinely connected with two very like-minded brothers in Christ, Bill and Allen, over at GraceWorx (if you haven’t checked them out, please do so…awesome ministry!), and we joined them for a podcast episode earlier this week which will be published very soon and I will share here as always. This is the exact subject we discussed for nearly two hours, full of passion and zeal for Jesus, and sincere concern for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that’s a very long message, especially considering ours are usually 30 minutes…but it is a MUST-HEAR. So PLEASE, I beg you…if you’ve never listened to any of our other messages, PLEASE listen to this one. Even if you have to break it up into short listening sessions. It must get out to today’s church. We all truly pray that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will wake up, rise up, and begin to seek another Way. THE WAY. THE TRUTH. THE LIFE. Your soul and the soul of others are at stake. Remember that Jesus said on the last Day, MANY will say to Him, “Lord, Lord…” & He will say, “Away from me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” To me, that’s one of the scariest portions of Scripture. These are people who checked the boxes, warmed a church pew, paid their “tithes” (Old Testament principle you’ve been taught as New Testament expectation…But nope. Not there. “God loves a cheerful giver,” and there are MANY ways we can give, and not just monetarily. Did you know that? We should be the best givers out there–but there’s no percentage of money expected. We aren’t under the law of Moses, but under the law of Christ. Do you know the difference. Most don’t.). But these “workers of iniquity” had no depth of relationship with the Living God through Jesus Christ, and had not come out of their sinful lifestyle to forsake all of that unto their Savior. Hmmm…is this REALLY a requirement though? Aren’t we under grace? Why are there whole doctrines formed around this idea that we can continue to live in sin because Jesus paid it all…when there are whole BOOKS in the Bible that say this ABSOLUTELY the farthest thing from the Truth??!! I’m telling you…doctrines of men…doctrines of demons. And we take them as Gospel. Shame on us. HEAR ME NOW: GRACE…SWEET GRACE…GOD’S BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING GRACE DOES NOT ALLOW US TO LIVE IN SIN. RATHER, IT EMPOWERS US TO LIVE A CHANGED LIFE THAT IS HONORING AND PLEASING TO THE ONE WHO CALLED US OUT OF DARKNESS AND INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT!!!!! Glory, hallelujah!!!!
Jesus paid the highest price possible to redeem and ransom our souls. It will cost us EVERYTHING to follow Him. Everything. It’s not an easy walk (that would be the broad path that MOST are on)…it’s the NARROW WAY…and as He said, FEW there be that find it. Few. Does that match these statistics I just found in a quick Google search? “Christianity is the most prevalent religion in the United States. Estimates suggest that between 65% to 75% of the US population is Christian (about 230 to 250 million). The majority are Protestant Christians (150 to 160 million) and Roman Catholics (70 to 75 million) and other minorities of Mormons, Orthodox and Jehovah’s Witnesses (about 13 million in total).”
I won’t even get into the fact that even the term “Christianity” has been VERY loosely (& incorrectly) applied here to all these various groups, as multiple ones are straight-up cults and absolutely not biblical Christianity. And also, REAL Christianity is not a religion, but a RELATIONSHIP with the God of the universe!!! But let’s just look at the numbers. 65-75%, or 230-250 MILLION Americans self-identify as Christians!? Yet we have LEGALLY and, as of late, CELEBRATED the slaughter of over 60 MILLION babies since Roe v. Wade!? Absolutely DISGUSTING AND DESPICABLE. And as of the most recent abominations, we’ve completely destroyed the sanctity of life, marriage, and every other facet of the individual person created in the image of God. Down to the most basic component—our gender. We have rejected and mocked God, spit in His face at every turn, taken Him out of EVERYTHING, called all that He created and saw as “good” BAD and have remade it in our own likeness and preferences. Man. Don’t even get me started. This country is on the BROAD PATH TO HELL. Ain’t no “narrow way” about it. All of this has happened because of the apathy, passivity, and even approval of the church. Don’t believe me? Do some research. We are cowards, as a whole.
And let me give you a Scripture that haunts me. Not for me, but for the majority of sideline “Christians.” Revelation 21:8 (NKJV) – “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Let’s talk about what this is saying. I’m sure you’ve read it many times, skimming over this list and checking yourself against each description of who WON’T inherit the Kingdom of God, sure that you aren’t included here. The Holy Spirit showed me one word here a long time ago and impressed upon my heart what it is actually saying. The first two words are “cowardly” & “unbelieving.” Some other versions say “fearful” & “unbelievers” but the premise is the same. As believers, we are called to be unashamed, unfearful, bold as lions, courageous in this battle. NOT cowards. In fact, we’re called to “love not our lives even unto death.” To “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus DAILY.” So much more. So much required of us. So much on the line. But I digress. Anyway, the point I’m making here…if “unbelievers” is the second disqualifier for entrance into the eternal Kingdom, that pretty much sums up ALL unbelievers, right? So who are the cowards, which are listed first?? There’s a clear distinction. It’s not cowardly unbelievers. It’s cowardly PROFESSING BELIEVERS. Those who Jesus warned that when they put their hands to the plow, if they looked back, were not fit for the Kingdom. Wow…ever heard or thought about this? You better…
Again, I have a very strong sense of urgency that we are running out of time to warn and call people out. We will do all that we can to wake up those who will be awaken, in any avenue God allows us to do this, because we understand and feel the gravity of what’s at stake here. We know this message won’t be popular. It won’t fill seats or pocketbooks or become the next greatest best seller…but if it reaches one soul and gives them a new perspective…or perhaps confirms something that the Spirit of God has been trying to impress upon them already…then all GLORY TO GOD!!! We will continue to sound the alarm and be the watchmen on the wall that we believe God has called us to be—in this day, in this hour, for such a time as this. Now I will (finally!) share with y’all what the Holy Spirit showed me in Ezekiel 3.
I have several verses to share here. Go back and read the whole chapter for yourself. Don’t EVER take anyone’s word ABOUT THE WORD without digging in yourself. Rule number one. But I’m only going to share the ones here that really make the point that I believe the Spirit is showing me. It’s cool too, because I believe we are a lot like Ezekiel (we’ve often said we feel like many of the prophets—NOT giving ourselves this title, we just feel like they must have felt how we feel a lot of times, bringing the truth of God’s Word to a hard-hearted, rebellious people). I definitely see the parallels. Anyway, for the Scriptures:
“But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.”
Ezekiel 3:7 KJV
*In verse 6, God had just said (basically), “I’m sending you, not to outsiders, but to your own people, the Israelites…for if I did send you to outsiders, they would actually listen!” But He told Ezekiel the Israelites would not listen to him because they would not listen to HIM, that they were impudent and hard-hearted. This is the state of the church today as well and God is sending us to speak His messages to them, WITH WARNING (I believe)…some may hear but not all will heed, as confirmed in this next portion.
In verses 10-11, “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.”
Ezekiel 3:10-11 KJV
*God has shown, is showing, and will continue to show us so much in His Word, and we are called to be faithful in it—as we have received it in our hearts and heard it with our ears—to now go to those in captivity (of religion), and tell them the truth…whether they receive or reject. This is our responsibility just as it was Ezekiel’s.
Verse 14: “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.”
Ezekiel 3:14 KJV
*The Spirit is with us…in us…& the hand of the Lord is strong upon us, to accomplish the work that He has already ordained for us to walk in. Praise God!!!! Nothing of us, all of Him, and in His strength…by His power and might!!
Verse 17: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”
Ezekiel 3:17 KJV
*I often say we are watchmen on the wall, sent by God to warn. I feel this. To the church…we must warn while we have time. God still puts spirits of prophets in His people today, I believe. It SHOULD be the call to every born-again believer, but we know that it’s simply not the case. So those of us whom God has called, we must rise to this challenge.
Verse 21: “Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”
Ezekiel 3:21 KJV
*Read also verses 18-20. God told Ezekiel that if he didn’t warn the wicked to repent, their blood would be on his hands. But if he warned the wicked and they didn’t repent, they’d die in their iniquity but save his soul (Ezekiel). And that when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and dies in his sin, had Ezekiel not warned him, his righteousness would not be remembered and his blood would be on his hands, too. BUT…
Verse 21: “Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”
Ezekiel 3:21 KJV
*We are warning and encouraging the Body of Christ to wake up, get in the Word, cultivate a relationship with Christ and the Body, and stand firm to the end. We are not weak against sin, but bold as lions as we urge people to walk in righteousness and grow in sanctification. We don’t want anyone’s blood on our hands or souls going to eternal torment. And lastly…
Verse 24: “Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.”
Ezekiel 3:24 KJV
*The Spirit is in us and He’s mighty at work among us—equipping, calling, preparing us for this work all the time, and He’s constantly revealing truths like this to us when we get alone with Him, seek Him with all our hearts, and allow Him to go before us and show us the way. The more we abide, the more we’re filled, and the better able we are to continue to watch and pray and show others the Way.
Wow. Amen and amen. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for this POWERFUL, CONVICTING, SOBERING message. I pray Your TRUE CHURCH would RISE UP, seek You like never before, and allow YOU to show them great and mighty things which they have not yet known. Set a fire down in our souls that spurs us on in growth, obedience, and power—to be Your hands and feet on this earth while there is still time, and to TRULY love everyone you put in our path, snatching ALL from the flames of hell—the lost or those professing to be saved. Every soul is precious in your sight, and we understand that Satan has sown MANY tares among the wheat, that deception ABOUNDS all around us, and that there is a fierce battle being waged all the time. Yet, in Your goodness, mercy, and grace, You’ve given us all the tools we need to endure to the end (for these are the ONLY ONES who will truly be saved). We have your precious, abiding Holy Spirit, and we have Your Holy Word. You’ve also GIFTED us with the Body of Christ, the family of God. May we find, build, and cultivate a genuine familial-type relationship-based community with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ while we still have time. We will soon need one another more than ever. And the awesome thing is that You’ve told us in Your Word that in the end times, we will see the True Church work in amazing signs and wonders again like they did in the early church!!! So let this stale and stagnant system and manmade kingdoms crumble. Let it fall to the ground. What is coming is SO much better. We trust You and we thank You, Lord, for revealing Your Truth to those who are seeking. In Jesus’ name I pray—for every single person who reads this, that they will cling to You for the rest of their lives, and bring others into Your Kingdom. Amen.
**Please feel free to pass this on.