THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY (Part 2)

“But now we have been delivered from the Law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6)

The Church is to reflect the life and nature of God. The quality found in any church is based on that fact alone. The more institutionalized the Church becomes the less it reflects the life and nature of God.

Individual hearts contribute to the corporate quality of life within a church. Attempts to add quality to the Church by substituting outward forms robs the Church of the true power of God. When Jesus cursed the fig tree, He was cursing forms of religion that rob the heart of the power of God. (Mk 11: 20-21)

The Law put emphasis on outward forms and restraints. Grace puts the emphasis on an inward transformation and the inward life. Law works from the outside in. Grace works from the inside out. The Law was written on tablets of stone. Grace has God’s moral law written on the heart. The Law was given to spiritually dead people, but grace has been given to spirits who’ve been made alive. The more Law is present in the Church, the more institutionalized it becomes.

The institutionalization of Christianity happens when spiritually alive people are made to operate in something that was only designed for spiritually dead people. We do believers a great injustice by telling them what they can and cannot do, subtly teaching them that they cannot operate by the new nature. The power is in the new nature. The Law could never give us this power.

The purpose of the Law was to restrain people’s flesh and sinful nature. In the Church and under grace this becomes unnecessary. You don’t need a law to restrain the new nature that has the love of God in it (Rom. 5:5). Love will restrain you if you listen to it. What is necessary is to teach and train people to yield to that new nature.

In the Old Covenant Israel’s obedience to the Law was strictly for their own benefit. They obeyed so they would be blessed and not cursed. All Israel knew was to hate their enemies, and physical death was the penalty for certain sins. They could in no way know God’s love for sinners.

Do you think Jesus did what the Father told Him to do so He wouldn’t be cursed? Did Jesus seek and save the lost because He wanted to be blessed and earn wages from the Father? Did Jesus forgive His enemies at the cross so He could miss hell and make heaven? No! One thousand times, no! Jesus did what He did because it was His nature. The number one need in the body of Christ today is the renewing of the mind so that it can come into agreement with the new nature in every believer. Jesus fulfilled the Law by simply walking according to His nature.

How is the law present in the Church today? Under the Law the presence of God was manifest in a temple made with human hands, a geographical location. Under grace our bodies are now the temples of God where His presence abides. By placing an emphasis on the church as a building it reinforces this aspect of the Law in people’s thinking.

Under the Law the prophets, priests, and kings were the only ministers anointed by God for service, and the rest of Israel were dependent on them to hear from God and lead them. Under grace all believers are kings and priests and can hear from God and are anointed to minister in some capacity. An extreme focus on only the pastor or fivefold ministry excludes or minimizes the rest of the body of Christ from participation in the service of God. Once again, this is another aspect of the Law and institutionalization of Christianity.

Under the Law there were 10 commandments. Under grace, yielding to the new nature (love) fulfills all the law and commandments.

The Church must come out from under the Law and from religion by feeding and nurturing the new nature. This will keep the Church from being institutionalized and being bound by forms that rob the heart of the power of God.

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THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY (Part 1)

“And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.In response Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.’ Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” (Mk. 11:12-17)

Jesus cursed a fig tree just before He cleansed the temple and drove out all those who bought and sold there. The contrast in these parallel acts is striking. The cursing of the fig tree represented the destruction of a fruitless religious system. It served as a visual object lesson of what Jesus had come to do in the Jewish temple, and then beyond in the churches who fail to accomplish His purposes (Rev. 2 and 3).

When Jesus cursed the fig tree He was cursing forms of religion that rob the heart of power. There are some concepts found in Christianity today that are robbing many of the true power of God. Allow me to briefly address these by using my limited knowledge of church history.

When Constantine, emperor of Rome, made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, it marked the beginning of the institutionalization of the Church. Constantine made the Church a state institution. From that point in time until the period of the dark ages (1500 AD) much of the Church died. What we’ve seen in the last 500 years has been the renewal, revival, and restoration of many truths that had been lost in the Church age. Yet there remains a full recovery and a resurrection from the effects of the institutionalization of the Church. What do I mean by this?

There were two basic fallacies that were birthed during the institutionalization process. The first was the thought of the Church being a building. Constantine built beautiful edifices and required Christians to attend. As someone once sarcastically said: “The Church building became a theatre, the ministers the actors, and the tithes and offerings were the admittance fee”. In this way Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Up until that time Christians had met in homes. This change in regards to Christianity and the Church meeting in large elaborate buildings affected the mind-set of multitudes of people during the Roman Empire, and in future generations. The issue is not the location or venue of where the Church meets so don’t get hung up there.

It doesn’t matter where the Church gathers – in a big building, a small building, a house, a garage, a barn, a tent, or under a tree. The bigger issue is in possessing a New Testament mind-set that the Church is not a building, but it is the people who are the temple of the living God. This may sound too simple, but this mind-set began restricting the gospel to the four walls of a building instead of taking it into public life. It killed the evangelistic fervor of the Church. The Church is not a building.

We could also add, according to the above passage of scripture, that the Church is not a business. As soon as the Church becomes more of a business that deals with the dollar in mind, or into a charitable organization that is content with humanitarian projects only, it will begin to wither and die. Jesus cursed the fig tree and then He drove out of the temple those who were buying and selling and doing business in it. The Church, above all else, has been called to be a soul saving organism. If the devil can institutionalize it and turn into a powerless religious system it will no longer serve the purposes of God.

The second fallacy that developed and spawned from the first is the thought that the people are an audience. Beginning with the rule of Constantine and the Roman Empire, a great distinction was made in Christianity between the clergy and the laity. This was definitely the greater tragedy during the institutionalization of the Church because it shifted the personal responsibility of the individual believer in the Church over to the institution and its officers, and he became a spectator instead of a participator. The people are not an audience.

These mind-sets or schools of thought have robbed so many of the truth and the power of the gospel, not only centuries ago, but even today. Christianity becomes institutionalized when a building becomes more important than the people, when money becomes more important than the Spirit’s workings, when attendance takes precedence over effectiveness, and organization and structure are emphasized more than relationship.

The Church is a living organism. It grows from within. You cannot produce a quality in the Church from the outside in. Changing outward forms and structures does not add quality to the Church. Adding a new missions statement, changing the worship style or name of a church are all false and unproductive ways of producing quality. Again, those things can be useful, but  spiritual quality can only be produced from the inside out. Real fruit grows from within the hearts of the people.

The fig tree that Jesus cursed had leaves but no fruit. In other words, the outside looked good, but a closer inspection by Jesus exposed the tree’s flaws and lack of fruit. This was the problem in the temple. It looked beautiful and unblemished on the outside but was unclean and defiled on the inside.

These mind-sets can immobilize the gospel and hinder its effectiveness in the public arena. It can also create too large of a distinction between what is called the clergy and laity. Just like an unused muscle, a Christian will begin to weaken and backslide when he does not function in his gift or calling.

What would happen if all believers would function in their place and in their God-given abilities and grace? The devil knows he cannot stop God from distributing these gifts so he seeks to slow down or stop the joint operation of them. He hinders the freedom to exercise these gifts. And he does it through the formation of a mind-set that tells the body of Christ that their ministry is insignificant compared to that of a pastor or another fivefold minister.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY EMOTIONAL LIFE: A STORY OF A MINISTER AND HIS DISABLED SON

I don’t approach emotional and mental health from a theologically cold academic perspective – I’d like to share about my own life – what we deal with weekly and often daily, and how we maintain a healthy emotional and mental life!

From my own life

Having lived his first 24 years at home, putting Chris in a group home 10 years ago was a huge adjustment for each of us. The home we felt comfortable with and had the peace of the Lord with was about a 2 hour drive from our home. The first 5 years of him living there were horrible.

Being mentally 4 years old due to the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck in delivery, cutting off oxygen and causing brain damage, though physically 24, he didn’t understand why he couldn’t live at home anymore. He would call us on the phone and cry, sobbing loudly, apologizing through his tears, “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry I did wrong, I’ll be good, can I come home now, I want to come home!” – thinking he had done something horribly wrong to cause us to move him out of his home to live with strangers 2 hours away. Because of the distance and ministry schedule we could only have him home 1-2 nights every 4-6 weeks, though we talked on the phone often, and we tried and tried to get him to understand he did nothing wrong.

After 5 years of that, he was then 29, he gave up the will to live. He got down to a dangerous weight because he refused to eat, and soon refused to get out of bed, refused to take his medicine – he just wanted to die. The real wake-up call came when the manager of the group home told me in the spring of 2008 they needed to discharge him to a nursing home to die, for they couldn’t care for him any longer.

We knew it was because he was separated from us – if you know or have known any 4 year old, imagine telling them they can’t live at home anymore and moving them a 2 hour drive away.

We knew we had to move closer to him which would allow him to come home weekly, rather than monthly as it stood then. Once we made the move and he was able to come home weekly, he became his old self again. Here we are 5 years later, he is now 34, and we have a bit of a routine. I pick him up on Friday morning, take him to a drive-through breakfast and we park by the railroad tracks to see if the Father has arranged any trains to come through town at that moment. If an ambulance screams by Chris always grabs my hand saying, ‘We better pray.’ So we pray for the person they are rushing to help, and he adds a hearty AMEN! at the end.

Then we run errands – post office, home to use his own bathroom and change clothes out of ‘group home smelling clothes’ and see mom, then we take trash to the local dump/recycle, make the rounds of stores as we save things to do so we can do them with Chris. This week Chris got a haircut, and the lady who cuts his hair always gives him a Car and Driver magazine from the waiting area. He loves cars!

Chris keeps a running commentary on everything – we slow to a stop at an intersection out in the country and cows are grazing road-side. “Hello cows!” as he rolls down the window and sticks his arm out to wave at them. (In a low voice in response) “Hello Chris, what are you doing today?” “Oh, just shopping with dad, bye cows!” (Followed by laughing at himself and responding to himself, “Cows don’t talk, do they dad? Ha ha, no cows don’t talk, Chris. But some do! You know, when I get to heaven I’m going to talk to cows!”

Chris has never met a stranger and most clerks know him when we roll through the door, so we take our time. If he sees a man with a cowboy hat on, which is common in Grove, Oklahoma, he will say, “Hello cowboy, what are you doing today?” And if someone is taking up the whole aisle as we attempt to roll through he says, “Look out people!” and then chuckle to himself before adding, “Excuse me.” If we see a baby he has to talk to it, a dog and we have to pet it. We have fun.

We return home about 4pm (16:00) where Barb is cooking a favorite meal for him, and Chris can settle into his recliner with his drawing board, picture books, and watch some of his favorite shows or movies. Around 8 or 9pm he is ready for bed. I play a Christian children’s music CD, tell him ‘By His stripes” and he replies “I was healed!” as I turn out the light.

The next morning a bath is the first thing, no matter if he stayed dry or wet the bed (he can’t get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, so I never know what I’m going to find)…but always a bath, then a favorite breakfast while watching his favorite shows or a movie. Donut Man, Gospel Bill, Davey & Goliath, Animated Stories of the NT/OT, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, some edited Sesame Street, Barney – and for movies, Cars, Cars 2, Herbie the Love Bug, Dumbo – you name it, our house is a Disney vault of movies!

By afternoon after a short prayer over him, we get in the truck, run a couple errands, then I feed him dinner at a place of his choosing, and return to the group home about 5pm. That’s a typical routine.

Normally I am the one to drop him off week in, week out, at the group home as it is very hard emotionally on Barb. It is on me too but I process it differently. Barb tends towards guilt and feelings of how inadequate the care is, it isn’t like mom’s care of course. I accept that compromise better.

But each time I tell Chris it’s time to start towards the group home he grows silent. His energy is gone, he becomes quiet until he has processed the fact he is going back. And he always asks ‘So you’re coming to get me next week right? You’ll pick me up on Thursday?” “No Chris, on Friday I’ll get you.” “Oh, Ok.”

I remind him we both have to go to work – he goes to a workshop Monday-Thursday – and he settles into the thought. But after I return him and sign his medicines back in and talk with the residents and staff and he has transitioned quickly to ‘group home mode’, he is ‘up’, talkative, interacting with the staff and residents, yet still needing assurance, “Dad, you come get me next week, ok?”

I assure him over and over that I will – the weight of the responsibility and his expectations fully hitting me each and every week we do this. I often pray something like, “Oh Father, keep me alive and healthy so I can be there for him, and keep me from sin and anything that would shorten my life. Just take him first if before the rapture because he depends so much on me, please allow that grace, but I trust you and your plan.” Some or all of those elements are always poured out from my heart to Him as I leave Chris.

I always fight back the tears as I drive away, emotionally down, giving thanks for the provision and good people watching over Chris, for his fellow resident and closest friend Frankie who also loves the Lord, a daughter of a missionary mom who only sees her daughter a couple times a year. But I am down. I must have alone time to work through it.

When I drive I often use the time to call people who have called me or need a call, but I just can’t do it after I leave Chris, usually a Saturday. If I walked too far down that emotional path, can you imagine where Satan would take it? Satan would take it to depression, hopelessness, guilt overwhelming… 

But I know better. I counter the emotions knowing this group home, and our home so far from our friends and our home church in Tulsa are what He has for now.

His grace is always present, but grace in someone’s life has ramifications in the lives of others, and those in the Tulsa churches have been gracious. So I worship, I process. Often the ride home alone I am silent other than praying in the spirit/Spirit quietly, me in my thoughts for 30 minutes, alternatively talking to the Father or just thinking. No talk radio, no song selection from my phone. Often I pull into the driveway and turn off the truck and sit a few minutes.

This time of year there is a list of things to do, but Barb knows better than to ask me to do anything after I drop Chris off. I need to have alone time, just me and the Father. Then I will myself to redirect my thoughts – the lawn needs mowed, I need to work on my Weekly Thoughts due in 2 weeks; there are Skype IM’s to answer, emails to answer, a trip to plan, but usually on Saturday nights I just can’t bring myself to do any of that, though what needs to be done weighs upon me. That evening I need time to be in ‘neutral’, maybe watch TV, play solitaire on the computer, go work on my boat.

But first, Barb and I ‘debrief’ when I finally walk through the door after dropping Chris off as we need that together time, talking about some adjustment needed at the group home, clothes Chris needs, etc. Then we shift gears and talk of other things – The emotional cycle completes itself before it begins all over again next Friday.

Being mature in Christ doesn’t mean perfection nor does it mean non-emotional spiritual robot living. It means walking through life with Him. Letting Him and His unconditional love that you are rooted and grounded in, continually be brought up before your face with every challenge, every process of emotion.

Commune in your heart with the Father, with the Lord, and always bring your emotions back to that love.

 

 

IT’S TIME TO UNCHURCH THE CHURCH

In a survey conducted in Amsterdam in the 1990’s, young people were asked two questions: Are you interested in God? Are you interested in church? 100% stated they were interested God, while 99% stated they were NOT interested in church. The pastors blamed the youth.

I believe one of the greatest barriers to effectively fulfilling the great commission could very well be the Church itself. As someone once said, “The quickest way to ‘church the un-churched’ may very well be to ‘un-church the Church’.”

After spending years as a missionary, and more time in a stateside school of ministry that was born out of one of the recent great American revivals, I can tell you this: The Church needs to be reincarnated and redefined.

Christianity has become too institutionalized where the Church is seen as an institution built on the concept of consumerism rather than an apostolic organism centered on Jesus and built on kingdom values. Today’s western Church is more an extension of our own traditions and the pop culture around us, with a growing dependence on our own ability, demographic research, and a misguided desire to be relevant in order to meet people’s needs.

Unlike the beginnings of the early Church, much of the Church today is set up like a corporation with lots of organization and structure, programs and budgets, which are useful, but often with so little emphasis on prayer and the Holy Spirit’s workings, as well as relationship with one another in the context of kingdom culture. God’s culture begins with the family, the home, making disciples through life relationships, reaching and caring for others with the gospel and the love of God.

We need to understand that the body of Christ is not primarily a corporation, or even an organization, but rather an organism, built on relationship by the Spirit, with the Lord and with each other. For a brief time the early believers met in the temple, but they also met regularly from house to house and shared meals together. I am not proposing that everyone switch to a house church model of doing church. What I am proposing is for us to rethink our collective experience as a body and a church. Why is it that many people, especially the younger generation, are interested in God, but not so much in the Church?

The second area where great change is needed is in our relationship to the world or to the lost. One of the principles that has caused great growth in the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea (a church that nearly numbers one million people) is the “oikos principle”. Oikos is the Greek word for household or house of people. Your oikos is that group of people whom you relate with on a regular basis. This would include your relatives, neighbors, fellow employees, those with whom you share common interests, and others whom you may have regular contact with. These people make up your personal sphere of influence.

Sometimes believers discover that there are only other believers in their oikos. If this is the case, then steps need to be taken to develop new circles of relationships. Throughout the years my wife Carolyn and I enrolled our son Daniel in sports leagues, not just so he could have fun, and learn sportsmanship and teamwork, but for our family to start developing relationships with the lost.

Hear the wise words of Arthur Wallis: “There is no question that God works, often powerfully, in the old structures. But it is inevitable that those very structures put serious limitations on His working. It is all too easy for the ground gained to be lost, for the situation to revert, and for the whole process to need repairing within a short space of time. Take the 1950 Lewis Awakening. Though confined to certain Presbyterian churches in the Outer Hebrides, this was a powerful movement of the Spirit that deeply affected those communities at that time. Many found faith in Christ, and some of these are now in full-time service. But the fact remains that in less than a decade you could visit those very churches where God had worked so powerfully, and never suspect that they had ever tasted revival. Without a change of structure it is virtually impossible to conserve the fruits of revival.”

When “structure” and “organization” is emphasized above relationship, concentrated prayer, and the Spirit’s workings it will produce an institution that pays their workers to love and serve people. Everything then will become event-based, performance-based, and program-driven. A lack of intimacy and true covenant relationships keeps most people under-stimulated and actually serves to harden the human spirit. Authentic New Testament Christianity has as its core John 13:35 which says, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

When Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mk. 11:13-14), it was symbolic of the cursing of Israel’s entire religious system. Today “religion” is the world’s greatest curse because it does not deal with the places of the heart. That is why people can hide in churches. There is not enough love, intimacy, accountability, and covenant.

This generation has found no relevance in the Church. They are looking for something to die for, but institutional Christianity has ripped them off. The Church needs a revolution. The Church needs an apostolic discovery of real kingdom values.

Remember, the Church did not begin with huge buildings or large organizations ruled by the appointment of men. The Church began with Jesus and the covenant relationship He modeled with the Heavenly Father and with His disciples. All relationships begin by simply being together. That is a part of the overall pattern that we must return to.

When this pattern is more fully realized and restored in the Church, we will produce true sons and daughters and not just programs and numbers. More impartation and not just information will be given and received.

What are your thoughts?

ARE YOU LIVING IN PSALM 137 OR 126?

And I heard this phrase in my spirit, “Make sure you are living in Ps 126 and not Ps 137.” In Ps 137 the children of Israel are in captivity and have no joy, laughter, or song in their hearts. But in Ps 126 they are full of joy and gladness and the spirit of prayer (weeping), and they are working in the harvest fields and reaping the fruit of it.

America is in a time of captivity right now, and many Christians have fallen into the same. The Church was divided in the recent presidential election. Many voted without discernment. They wanted change and they got change, just not the kind they thought they would get. Don’t kid yourself; America will never recover certain things she has lost in the recent election. I say it again: America is in captivity and many in the Church are likewise.

But for those who will stay close to Jesus He will be to you as the governor of the feast who turned the water into wine and saved the best wine for last. As in John 2 also in Acts 2; water turned to wine! Peter spoke boldly and said, “These men are not drunk as you suppose…” Rivers of living water coming forth from their bellies turned to wine. Glory to God!

And so the oil of joy is flowing and those who love righteousness and hate iniquity, as the Son did, will be anointed with this gladness more than their companions (Heb 1:9). The glory of God will shine on the true Church, the Bride of Christ, and she will do exploits!

There is a line of distinction that has been made. Ps 137 or Ps 126? Which side are you on? Those in Ps 126 are going up, but those in Ps 137 will stay. One will be taken and the other left (Mat 24:36-Mat 25:1-13). As the time approaches the governor of the feast will continue to serve up the new wine. The saints will be marked by righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The kingdom shall be manifested through them.

Come out of captivity and get into the flow of the Holy Ghost and of Ps 126! When your mouth is filled with laughter and your tongue with singing and praise then you are drinking! When you make a choice to dance and rejoice then you are free!

PART 3 OF THE 1965 STANLEY FRODSHAM PROPHECY

(Stanley Frodsham was a traveling companion of Smith Wigglesworth and actually wrote a book about him. This prophecy is almost 50 years old, but I can see that many of the things spoken here are indeed coming to pass and serve as a grave warning in our day. Due to the length of this prophecy we have divided it into three parts, the first two have already been posted. Here is the third and final part as promised.)

GOD’S PART AND OUR PART

I would have you consider My life on earth — the anointing upon Me was great and yet the temptations were great on every side; they came in one form and then in another, offering Me first the glory of the kingdoms of the earth and then in the form of reviling and persecution. There will be great glory given to My people but also the temptations will be intensified on every side. Think not that with the glory there shall be no temptations or persecutions. The glory to My church shall be great and so also the temptations from the enemy to turn My people from My paths. I warn you again that when the glory shall be manifested the temptations shall be great until very few that started shall finish the course. First of all they shall be offered great worldly possessions and then will come great revilings and unbelief.

Consider your Lord, that as He walked so it shall be for you. There shall be need of great intensity of purpose. At times it will seem that everyone is rising up against you, trying to turn you from the course that I have set for you. It is written of Me that I set my face as flint to go in the direction that My Father had prescribed for Me. If you will finish the course the Lord has laid down for you, you too will have to set your face as a flint. With great determination you must walk in the course laid down for you. Many of your loved ones and those who follow with you will seek to persuade you and try to turn you from the course. With many words that seem right in the natural they will speak to you. Did not Christ rebuke Peter who would turn Him from the course God had prescribed?

Understand these two things and meditate upon them solemnly — the persecution and the darkness shall be as great as the glory in order to try to turn the elect and the anointed ones from the path the Lord has laid down for them. Many shall start but few shall be able to finish because of the greatness of grace that shall be needed to be able to endure unto the end. The temptation and the persecution of your Lord were continuous. He was tempted by Satan in many forms throughout His entire life and even to the cross where the ungodly cried out ‘if thou be the Christ come down from the cross’. Think not that there will be a time of no persecution, for it shall be from the time of your anointing until the end. Difficulties and great persecution will go on to the end. The Lord must prepare you to be an overcomer in all things, that you may be able to finish the course. The persecution shall increase even as the anointing shall increase.

In paths of judgment and righteousness shall the Lord God lead His people and bring them into that place which He has chosen for them. The Lord has chosen a place for His people, a place of righteousness and holiness where He shall encamp around them. All who will be led of the Lord will be brought into this holy place. For the Lord delights to dwell in His people and to manifest Himself through His people. The holiness of the Lord will be manifested through His people. Let the Lord lead you and He will lead you in the difficult places. He led His people of old through a place where no man dwelt, where no man passed through, in a place of great danger and in the shadow of death. The Lord will indeed lead His people again through such places, and at the same time will bring them out into a place of great glory. Understand that the way toward the glory is fraught with great danger and many shall fall to the right or the left, many shall camp on lesser ground. But the Lord has a place of holiness and no unclean thing shall dwell among His people.

Put your trust in Him and He will bring you into a place of holiness. He desires to bring His people into a great glory — the likes of which has never been seen, for this is what the Lord will do for those who put their trust in Him. It is a place of darkness and great danger and it will separate His people into the place where He would have them walk. He will protect them from the voices that would turn them from His path. He will bring them through the dark places and treacherous paths and lead them out into the light of His glory. He will rejoice greatly over His beloved and cause them to be filled with joy unspeakable. He seeks to lead His people into a new place of grace and glory where He will indeed encamp among them. Put your trust in Him and He will surely bring you into this new place.

Fear not the days to come, but fear this only — that you shall walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord. In this time I am ordering and setting up My church and it shall indeed be pure, without spot or wrinkle. I will do a work in My beloved that has not been seen since the foundation of the world. I have shown you these things that you may seek the Lord diligently with all your heart, and that you may be a preserver of His people. Run not to this one or that one for the Lord has so ordained that salvation is in Him and in Him alone. You shall not turn to this shepherd or to that one, for there shall be a great scattering upon the earth. Therefore look unto Him for He will indeed make these things clear to you. You shall not look here or there, for His wells shall increase your strength and your faith as He prepares you for the times that are coming.

The truths that I have revealed to you must become a part of you — not just an experience, but a part of your very nature. Is it not written that I demand truth in the inward parts? It is the truth of the Lord expressed in your very being that shall hold you. Many shall experience the truth but the truth must become a part of you, your very life. As men and women look upon you they will hear not only the voice but see the expression of the truth. Many shall be overcome because they are not constant in My ways and because they have not permitted the truths to become a part of them. I am showing you these things that you may be prepared, and having done all, to stand. ”

PART 2 OF THE 1965 PROPHECY BY STANLEY FRODSHAM

(Stanley Frodsham was a traveling companion of Smith Wigglesworth and actually wrote a book about him. This prophecy is almost 50 years old, but I can see that many of the things spoken here are indeed coming to pass and serve as a grave warning in our day. Due to the length of this prophecy we have divided it into three parts, the first was posted two days ago with the third to follow soon.)

THE WAY OF DECEIVERS

I warn you to search the Scriptures diligently concerning these last days. For the things that are written shall indeed be made manifest. There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers, who shall speak forth the truth and shall gain the favor of the people. For the people shall examine the Scriptures and say, ‘What these men say is true’. Then when they have gained the hearts of the people, then and then only shall they bring out their wrong doctrines. Therefore I say that you should not give your hearts to men, nor hold people’s persons in admiration or adulation. For by these very persons Satan shall gain entry into My people. Watch for seducers! Do you think a seducer will brandish a heresy and flaunt it before the people? He will speak words of righteousness and truth and will appear as a minister of light, declaring the Word. The people’s hearts shall be won. Then when the hearts are won, they will bring out their doctrines and the people shall be deceived. The people shall say ‘Did he not speak thus and thus’? ‘And did we not examine it from the Word’? ‘Therefore he is a minister of righteousness. This that he has now spoken we do not see in the Word, but it must be right, for the other things he spoke were true’.

Be not deceived. For the deceiver will first work to gain the hearts of many, and then shall bring forth his insidious doctrines. You cannot discern those who are of Me and those who are not of Me when they start to preach. But seek Me constantly, and when these doctrines are brought out you shall have a witness in your heart that these are not of Me. Fear not, for I have warned you. It is possible that the very elect may be deceived. But it is not possible if you walk in holiness and uprightness before the Lord, for then your eyes shall be open and the Lord will protect you. If you will constantly look unto the Lord you will know when the doctrine changes, and will not be brought into it. If your heart is right I will keep you, if you will look constantly to Me, I will uphold you.

The minister of righteousness shall be on this wise – his life shall agree with the word, and his lips shall give forth that which is wholly true; there will be no mixture. When the mixture appears then you will know he is not a minister of righteousness. The deceivers speak first the truth and then error, to cover their own sins, which they love. Therefore I exhort and command you to study the Scriptures relative to seducing spirits, for this is one of the great dangers of these last days.

I desire you to be firmly established in My word and not in the personalities of men, that you will not be moved as so many shall be moved. I would keep you in the paths of righteousness. Take heed to yourselves and follow not the seducing spirits that are already manifesting themselves. Diligently inquire of Me when you hear something that you have not seen in the word, and do not hold people’s persons in admiration, for it is by this very method that Satan will hold many of My people.

THE WAY OF TRIUMPH

I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly, that you may triumph where I triumphed. On the cross I triumphed over all the powers of Satan and I have called you to walk in the same path. It is when your life is on the cross that you shall know the victory that I have experienced. As you are on the cross, seated in Me, then you shall know the power of the resurrection. When I come in My glory the principalities and powers in the heavenly places shall be utterly broken. Fear not, for I have given you the power whereby you may tread down the powers of darkness, and come forth victorious through every trial. As you are on the cross then you are victorious. It was on the cross that I triumphed over all the powers of the enemy. My life shall flow through as you enter into these precious truths. Look unto Me and appropriate My life. As your eyes and desires are toward Me, and you know what it is to be crucified with Me, then you shall live and your anointing shall increase. It was not in My life as I walked upon the earth, but rather it was in My life as I hung upon the cross that I openly spoiled principalities and powers.

I am showing you truth that shall cause you to overcome, to have power over the wicked one; this is the truth that will liberate you and those around you. You shall know also the fellowship of My sufferings. There is no other way whereby you may partake of this heavenly glory and to reign with Me. My word says that if we suffer with Him we shall reign with Him. I desire to make these truths real within you. As you keep them before you, you will in turn liberate many who are in bondage. You will have revelation of those who are in darkness and will have the keys to liberate the captives. Many seek to liberate but do not have the keys. Upon the cross continually you will know the power of My resurrection.

If you will indeed judge yourself you shall not be judged. As you seek My face and desire to be cleansed by Me in all truth and sincerity of heart, I will judge you in the secret place, and the things that are in the secret place of your heart shall not be made manifest to others. I will do it in the secret place and no man will know it. The shame that will be seen on many faces shall not be seen on your face. Therefore in mercy and love I am instructing you in order that you may partake of My glory. As you are willing to walk with Me and rejoice in your sufferings, you shall in turn partake of My glory. Look unto Me for you have need of power to overcome the wicked one and the bondages in other’s lives.

I said that if a man will judge himself he shall not be judged. It is not My good pleasure that the shame of My people be seen by all. How can I judge the world if I judge not first My own house? Hearken unto these things that I am telling you, for if you will not hearken unto Me thy shame shall be evident to all.

1965 PROPHECY BY STANLEY FRODSHAM

(NOTE: This prophetic word was spoken by Prophet Stanley Frodsham who was a personal friend of Smith Wigglesworth, a traveling companion and author of one of the books about Him. It was given in Chicago in 1965, five years before he died. Due to the length of this prophecy I have divided it into 3 parts, which will be distributed at 3 different times. You will not find many prophecies today of this nature. I believe that alone is just another sign of the prevalence of idolatry and itching ears of the time we are living in.)

GREAT JUDGMENTS

“With great judgments will I plead with the population of this country. Great darkness is coming upon the countries that have heard My gospel but no longer walk in it. My wrath shall come upon them. The darkness shall be so great and the anguish so sore that men shall cry out for death and shall not find it. There shall be a lingering death, famine and great catastrophes.

My wrath shall be manifested against all ungodliness. It shall come with great intensity. You have known my love but have not experienced My wrath or My severity. My judgments are literal and not a thing to be passed over lightly. Realize the severity of My judgments and My intense anger against the sin in My household. My judgments shall begin in My house, for I will cleanse My house that it be not a partaker of My wrath against the iniquities of the cities. Before I visit the nations in judgment; I will begin at My house. When I do cause My wrath to come upon the cities of the world, My people shall be separate. I desire a people without spot or wrinkle and such will be preserved by Me in the time of My wrath, which will be coming upon all iniquity and unrighteousness.

I am going to prepare you for the coming days by a hard path that will cause many to cry out continually unto Me. For when the going is easy men do not seek Me, but rejoice in a temporary blessing. And when that blessing is removed they so often turn this way and that way but do not come to Me. I am showing you these things in order that you may seek Me continually and with great diligence. As you seek Me I will open up truths to you that you have not seen before, and these very truths will be such that will enable you to stand in these last days. As you are persecuted, reviled and rejected by your brethren then you will turn unto Me with all your heart and seek Me for that spiritual life that you need. So that when the tribulation comes you will have that which will enable you to stand. For many will be tossed to and fro, men’s hearts shall fail them because of trouble on every hand. These days shall be very terrible, the likes of which have never been seen before.

COMING GLORY AND DECEIVING SPIRITS

When I visit My people in mighty revival power, it is to prepare them for the darkness ahead. With the glory shall come great darkness, for the glory is to prepare My people for the darkness. I will enable My people to go through the darkness because of the visitation of My Spirit. Take heed to yourselves lest you be puffed up and think that you have arrived. Many shall be puffed up as in the olden days, for then, many received My message but they did not continue in it. Did I anoint Jehu? Yet the things that I desired were not accomplished in his life. Listen to the messengers, but do not hold men’s persons in admiration or adulation. For many whom I shall anoint mightily with signs and miracles shall become lifted up and shall fall by the wayside. I do not this willingly for I have made provision that they might stand. I call many into this ministry and equip them, but remember that many shall fall. They shall be like bright lights and the people shall delight in them. But they shall be taken over by deceiving spirits and shall lead many of My people astray. Hearken diligently concerning these things, for in the last days shall come seducing spirits. They shall turn many of My anointed ones away, many shall fall through diverse lusts and because of ‘sin abounding’.

But if you will seek Me diligently I will put My Spirit within you so that when one shall turn to the right hand or to the left hand you shall not turn with them, but instead you will keep your eyes fixed wholly on your Lord. The coming days are going to be most dangerous, difficult and dark for there shall be a mighty outpouring of My Spirit in judgment upon many cities and many shall be destroyed. My people must be diligently warned concerning the days ahead. Many shall turn after seducing spirits, and already many are seducing My people. It is those who ‘Do Righteousness’ that are righteous. Many cover their sins by great theological words. But I warn you of seducing spirits who instruct my people in an evil way. Many of these I will anoint that they in turn may purify and sift My people, for I will have a holy people. When I come I shall not find faith upon the earth but in a few, for when the time of testing comes many will depart from their Lord.

Many shall come with seducing spirits and hold out lustful enticements. You will find that after I have visited My people again the way will become more and more narrow, and fewer shall walk therein. Be not deceived, the ways of righteousness are My ways. For though Satan come as an angel of light hearken not to him; for those who perform miracles and speak not righteousness are not of Me. I warn you with great intensity that I am going to judge My house and have a Church without spot or wrinkle when I come. I desire to open your eyes and give you spiritual understanding, that you may not be deceived, but may walk with uprightness of heart before Me, loving righteousness and hating every evil way. Look unto Me and I will make you to perceive with the eyes of the Spirit the things that lurk in darkness, that are not visible to the human eye. Let Me lead you in this way, that you may perceive the powers of darkness and battle against them. It is not a battle against flesh and blood, for if you battle in that way you accomplish nothing. But if you let Me take over and battle against the powers of darkness then they are defeated, and then liberation is brought to My people.

(Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of this prophecy)