THE CALLING OF A CHURCH AND A NATION BACK TO GOD

If ever there was a time when true apostles and prophets must arise in America and the world, it is now — not only to give prophetic words of what the future holds, but with holy conviction, to call a Church and a nation back to the true worship of God, to drive out the money changers, and to call us back to true Spirit-inspired, fervent, effectual prayer and fasting, and holy character. They must also confront the elite vipers of iniquity and warn the false apostles and prophets of their whitewashed walls and false claims to peace, and to cry out to the people to repent and return to God. Both John the Baptist and Jesus did this as well as the writers of the New Testament.

Now is the time to flee the existing superficial version of Christianity and our false, unholy allegiances and return to a lifestyle that reflects the humility and meekness of our Master. It is an hour when true ministers must move away from the rat race of professional ministry, money-making schemes, and the pursuit of fame, popularity, and media exposure, and be made whole in God’s presence and through God’s love.

Only true friends of the bridegroom whose character has been shaped in the crucible of their own sufferings and earned God’s trust are qualified to lead a Church and a nation back to God. They alone shall know the secret and heart of the Lord.

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Ps. 25:14).

Notice how this verse reads in the Living Bible:

“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.”

Too many modern apostolic and prophetic voices are tainted because they are too eager for power, popularity, influence, riches, and fame. They seek more the validation and affirmation of men at the neglect of truly living and speaking in the sight of God. The road can be lonely and difficult at times, but we endanger ourselves when we seek the validation of man over the validation of our heavenly Father. We must begin to align ourselves with the heart of Christ and see clearly what is within man, and rather than seek approval in the flesh, prefer at all costs the approval of God. This will keep us preferring purity over popularity, intimacy over influence, and holiness over hype.

A heartfelt reliance and preference for the approval of God over the approval of man is what distinguishes all true apostles and prophets from counterfeits and wannabes. The same could be said for all ministers and all saints. For there will come a time when they must not only speak out against the carnal and sinful status quo, but shake off those religious, political, and cultural traditions that run contrary to what God demands and expects of His people. This cannot happen unless they love and fear God more than man. This also cannot happen unless they have an exceedingly great zeal for the honor of God’s house, who we are.

(This is an excerpt from my latest book, Cleansing The Temple)

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THESE THINGS SAYS HE WHO HAS A SHARP TWO-EDGED SWORD

My wife is a praying woman. She has an incredible grace to draw forth wisdom and counsel from the Spirit of God. A few years ago prolific utterances began to flow from her vessel whenever we’d pray together. I began recording and transcribing them.

My new book, Cleansing The Temple, was birthed this way.

One day when we were praying together three scriptures flashed before her that instantly bore witness with both of us. They were Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira; Acts 8 with Simon the sorcerer; and Acts 19 with the burning of the magic books. Like the burning of the magic books in Acts 19, the Holy Spirit revealed His desire to burn up the corrupting values in church culture today that are restricting the true manifestation of the glory of God.

When judgment fell on Ananias and Sapphira the fear of the Lord also fell on both the church and the world (Acts 5). It had a polarizing effect on those who heard of it. Today when many pastors are toning down on the demands of Christ and the workings of the Holy Spirit to spike up the numbers of church members, there was a certain exclusivity and distinct dividing line at work in the early church.

Notice the effect:

“But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both” (Acts 5:13-14 – Message).

As a result, the glory and power of God increased and multitudes continued to come to the Lord. Sincere repentance was the fruit of it all.

This is a necessary work that must be done today for the Church to be cleansed of its iniquities and impurities. Holiness and the fear of the Lord must be restored in the church as a result of these judgments. This work must be done before the Lord returns for His glorious church.

The book touches on many other aspects of judgment and glory, but this is the central issue. This is a real word from the Lord for this hour. It will prepare the church for the tumultuous decade of the 20s that’s just a few months away.

The introductory chapter is a transcription of tongues, revelation, and interpretation from a time of prayer.

I hope you will get a copy of the book and buy one for your pastor and local elders, too.

Every minister should get one. It will be a great resource for years to come and will prepare you for the tumultuous decade of the 20s just months away.

Cleansing The Temple is now available in kindle and paperback. This word will help prepare the church for the storm ahead, the harvest, and the glory of the Lord. 

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT THE GLORY?

An excerpt from my new book, Cleansing The Temple. Kindle discounted pre-orders coming very soon. 

Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was lying about the amount of money they contributed to the thriving church in Jerusalem. But the greater sin was the root of why they did it. There was a great move of God going on during the inception of the early Church, which compelled many believers to sell their possessions and lay the proceeds at the apostles’ feet (Acts 4:34-35). Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be a part of this great move but for the wrong reasons, so they conspired together to lie about the total amount they were giving.

Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last” (Acts 5:9-10).

The Church is referred to as the pillar and ground of truth. No lie could stand within it in its glorious beginnings.

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

Have you ever thought of how the very first act of judgment in the early Church was concerning a lie? That is very significant. The lie represents a mask of religion and hypocrisy that fills many churches today and is diluting the glory of God. The early Church was cleansed and purged immediately from what Ananias and Sapphira were attempting to introduce into the local body in Jerusalem.

More than the love of money, hypocrisy was the main issue. Jesus called hypocrisy “…the leaven of the Pharisees.”

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

Leaven is yeast, and it has a fermenting effect on dough, which is what causes the bread to rise. And since it takes only a small amount of yeast to transform an entire lump of dough, Jesus is warning His disciples that it takes only a little bit of what the Pharisees have to ruin a person. Paul said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:8). In Christ’s estimation, the conduct of these Pharisees had a leavening and corrupting effect upon those who followed their example. Just a tiny amount of the leaven of the Pharisees would be sufficient to turn a man into a bad and useless person.

In other words, what Ananias and Sapphira were introducing into the young body in Jerusalem had the potential to ruin what God was doing. Was there malicious intent on their part to ruin anything or hurt anyone? I don’t believe so, but the glory was so pure and white hot in the early beginnings of the Church age that even a lie without presumed malicious intent could not stand. If it was allowed to stand and not be judged, it would have spread.

A lack of accountability and righteous judgment today is a huge problem in the Church, enabling the leaven of sin to spread like a cancer. Biblical discipline is sorely lacking. First and second admonitions to correct the unrepentant are uncommon and dis-fellowshipping from such is nearly unheard of.

“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10 — KJV).

I don’t want to excuse Ananias and Sapphira by telling you that there seemed to be no malicious intent to harm anyone. They did conspire together and agree together to tell this lie, and it was Satan that filled their heart to do this (Acts 5:3). That alone makes it evil and wicked.

Masks of religion and veils of hypocrisy are a great stumbling block to the manifestation of His glory and power. God doesn’t expect perfection, but He expects honesty and transparency. The lie, veiled in hypocrisy, that was told by Ananias and Sapphira was against the Holy Spirit, and it is representative of the leaven that fills much of the Church today.

The Greek word for hypocrite or hypocrisy is hupokrisis, which literally means “reply.” The word came to denote a theatrical performance by one who spoke in dialogue. Then it was used of play-acting, role-playing, pretending, and, hence, acting insincerely — hypocrisy. A hypocrite conceals his true motives under a cloak of make-believe.

Today we have a generation of Ananiases and Sapphiras who would lie for the honor and glory of men rather than tell the truth for the honor and glory of God (Acts 5). Layers of lies and false projections and motives have produced veils of deception and masks of religion that have caused the glory to diminish and depart. If we learn to live in the sight of God instead of the sight of man, hypocrisy will be flushed out of our lives, and the glory of God would increase personally and collectively in the Church.

The early Church had just been birthed and was localized in Jerusalem only at this time. It was yet in an embryonic stage of development. Just as doctors can often detect something wrong in the early stages of a pregnancy, so did the apostle Peter by the revelation of the Holy Spirit detect a lie in the Church.

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” (Acts 5:1-3)

When people sell everything and come and lay the money at the feet of genuine apostles in order to distribute it among the needy, that is a major move of God. The love of money had no hold on these early believers. It was not a requirement for anyone to sell their possessions. They did it willingly. The problem was that Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount they gave for the insidious reason of wanting to be esteemed in the eyes of man. The root of their sin was not in what they did, but in why they did it.

Ananias and Sapphira avoided financial disclosure and tried to make the records appear as if they had given a larger percentage than what they actually gave. But the real motive connected to their lie had to do with pride and wanting to be highly esteemed in the church. It is one of the first teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men” (Matt. 6:1-2).

Ananias and Sapphira touched the glory of God with the desire for the glory of men. That was the root issue. In my humble opinion, this is also the root issue in the modern Church, and in every generation, it is the one thing that dilutes and diminishes the glory of God quicker than anything else. Jesus can only build His Church on purity and truth. When there are strong moral convictions about honesty and purity in all areas of our lives, and a true humility among ministers and saints, there will be a greater glory in the Church.

Much of the glory we’ve had in the modern-day Church has been the glory of man. The reason there’s been so little judgment today like that which fell on Ananias and Sapphira is because of the absence of the true glory of God, for this level of severe judgment that produces death is always in proportion to the present level of glory.

Consecration to God in holiness and purity is vital to increasing the glory of God in the Church.

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KEY TO CLEANSING THE LATTER HOUSE: JUDGMENT AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

I believe there is no other way the modern day Church will be cleansed from all its hypocrisy and impurities derived from the worship  of mammon, except through judgment that produces the fear of the Lord. It may come through hardship, death, or even a crisis of massive proportions such as a civil war to bring this about. The landscape of Christianity must be cleansed, so that the Church’s impact can be much more far reaching. Without widespread and deep repentance and awakening,  this may be the only solution and remedy to the current idolatrous condition of the church world. The power and glory of God may not be restored to the Church any other way. We are so far gone and numb to the true condition of the nation and the Church that this may be the only remedy to true restoration (see this recent article by my friend Michael L. Brown – How Can We Be So Numb?). A severe shaking may be our last line of hope.

Let’s take a close look at the first miracle of judgment in the early Church that cleansed it immediately of the sin and hypocrisy that was seeking entrance. This judgment kept it strong and pure and increased its power and impact.

“In hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great fear came on all those who heard these things” (Acts 5:5).

“At once she (Sapphira) fell down at his feet and died. Upon entering, the young men found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear came on the entire church and on all those who heard these things. Many signs and wonders were performed among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Porch. No one else dared join them, but the people respected them. Believers were increasingly added to the Lord, crowds of both men and women” (Acts 5:10-14).

Can you see how this cleansing led to increased fear and power with many believers being added to the Lord?

We often forget these portions of Scripture and how this judgment produced the component of the fear of the Lord, which stopped this lie and other impurities from having access into the early Church, thus preserving its white hot purity and keeping it from being defiled. This miracle of judgment contributed to the glory, power, and growth of the early Church. Notice also the effect it had on the people:

“No one else dared join them (the disciples), but the people respected them” (Acts 5:13).

The Message Bible says it this way: “But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both.”

Could these incidents of judgment in the early Church be a type and shadow of what we may expect in the last days Church in both the coming judgment and glory:

Could it be that preachers who have peddled the word of God for gain have their ministries judged and some even be publicly humiliated and taken out of the way?

Could churches and ministries that have been built on compromise and the wisdom of man see a mass exodus as people begin to seek pure truth and authenticity as well as the reality of the Holy Spirit and the power of God?

Could we see organizations and companies who have used their power and wealth to persecute the righteous be shaken and some big CEO’s even die? Could we also see the same type of judgement on leaders of nations who persecute the glorious Church and do not give glory to God (think of king Herod; Acts 12:23)?

I believe we will see these kind judgments again but only as the glory increases and is restored to the true Church.

POLARIZATION: ONE EFFECT OF GOD’S JUDGMENTS AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

The judgment that fell on Ananias and Sapphira caused sinners to be leery of joining themselves to the apostles and the church while at the same time gaining public respect and influence. This divided or polarized those who were not interested in genuine repentance and living whole-heartedly for the Lord from the multitudes that were being genuinely converted and being added to the church. Oh how we need this work done today in this era of postmodern and so called progressive Christianity! It would root out so much complacency, carnality, and compromise.

The dividing line was very distinct in the early Church. In a day when we are trying to include everyone into our sheepfolds by toning down on the demands of the gospel, there was a certain exclusivity that the judgments of God and the fear of the Lord produced in the Church’s earliest beginnings. People couldn’t enter in with sin in their lives. In many places today, it is difficult to tell the difference between the Christian and non-Christian, but not in the early Church. God wants to restore this polarization in the Church of today.

This is an excerpt from my newest book awaiting its release, THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, RESTORING THE GLORY TO THE LATTER DAY CHURCH. 

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PRAYER AND PROPHECY CONCERNING THE CLEANSING OF CHRIST’S CHURCH

While waiting on the Lord in prayer before an evening meeting in a particular city the communications of the Spirit of God began to flow…(Carolyn and I recorded it and then transcribed it). For the last several years this has been our pattern and mode of operation. We have 100s of pages of prayer notes, or prayer jottings, as we like to call them. We’ve been praying about redesigning our blog and calling it The Prayer Jotter, and also writing a book on the wisdom of God that has come forth during these special times. Following is a lengthy one for spiritually minded people:    

And even here you know something is not right and you’ve been picking it up in your spirit, but you’re not seeing anything for it’s been masked…

It’s very skilled at being deceptive…it’s veiled in religion…a mask of religion… and its only a certain kind of utterance and power that is going to break through this very strong veil of deception.

Tongues…

I see that Lord, so we can’t go in light and fluffy for it’s all disguised in that religious display.

More tongues…

So this then is why the demonstration of My power, not with enticing words of man’s speech, is necessary here (1 Cor. 2:4-5), for this mask that has been here knows what to say, knows what to look like on a Sunday, knows how to pretend and is very good at it, but their faith must be established in the power of God.

We just surrender now to the Holy Ghost and power, to the One who shows us Your heart and Your will, shows us the sick and diseased, and shows us and penetrates through with the preaching that cuts to the heart, and separates the soul.

Hebrews 4:12-13  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Lots of tongues, heaving…

This utterance must come forth to break through the veil of religion, to break through that deceptiveness that is here…and what Ananias and Sapphira were trying to do, because they saw people doing it so they did it, too.

But the anointing and the power and the glory were too great at that time to allow deception. That lie could not walk past the anointing and the one who was walking in the spirit of truth (Peter), for it not to be recognized as a covering and a veil to bring in an impure spirit, a falsehood, and a lie.

And what was going on at that time? There was such a great awareness of the truth of Jesus Christ; there was such an anointing and a power in the body.

There were miracles going on outside the church walls with the shadow of Peter…there was demonstration and power that was being seen, yes, that was going on. The demonstration of the Spirit of the Lord was upon My people, My ministers, so much so that they didn’t need to be in a building; they just had to walk the streets and there I was moving. Yes, that same power that raised Christ from the dead was upon them and could move even away from them and the shadow, yes, even the shadow, which was My Spirit, was healing and delivering and moving through My apostles at that time.

Tongues…

Yes, and even the preaching that came forth was causing hearts to decide, either to disbelieve and oppose, and get angry at the words coming forth, or repent, be glad and rejoice.

Can you not see what it looks like? Can you not understand what it looks like when I am moving? There is power and there is an utterance and a word that causes there to always be a dividing, and you said it through your own words and through your own mouth that I either make them glad, sad, or mad.

This is evidence of My Spirit moving and My Spirit in dominance and the authority on My ministers of reconciliation.

Tongues…

You see it’s almost like He’s highlighted this morning the beginning of Acts where it started, how there was an anointing, how the Holy Spirit first came through a people who prayed and were consecrated and waited on Him, and He came like a whirlwind and the people automatically went out of the upper room and into the streets…that is automatic and that is something you should see and recognize, even in the body today.

When the Holy Spirit is poured out people cannot stay in the pew; they have to go out to the streets for there’s an activation.

And so you have seen, and so don’t you remember when you went to_________? Aahh, I remember when we were moving in the Spirit at _____________ and how gifts were activated and how some started waking up when the Spirit was released, and yet that leader stopped it because of being in control, and all of a sudden it was all stopped. And what was the release and what happened out of that?

It burst, and instead of life, it brought forth adultery in the body and it brought forth coldness and people walking away; it brought forth people being taken away, this marriage being destroyed, this one going off into false doctrine, that one moving away from God and becoming cold and it brought forth a dry cold monument of religion.

Whenever someone or something comes to stop (a move of God) that is the result…the work of Satan, the work of death…but oh remember how it all started and how they let the Holy Spirit move and Peter got up and preached, and the word cut to their hearts and there were so many that came to the Lord and believed, and then there was a movement in homes.

But understand what tried to come with Ananias and Sapphira was disguised in religion, disguised with a mask of pretension, but because of the sensitivity of the ministers (Peter), they were watching and they saw it as soon as it moved by. There was a discernment that came because the Holy Spirit was in charge and He recognized in the disguise that which was false.

But oh how many today would allow Ananias and Sapphira to walk in the door with their pay checks, with their checkbooks, with their debit cards and credit cards, and their bank accounts, and say: “Oh, God told us to give this to you pastor, and oh they would be received and yet it was a messenger of Satan; it was a pride that got in, and then there comes the control through the money…a control of what goes on through the Spirit because of the money.

Tongues…

And so I see the disguise that’s gone in and infiltrated the church in this area.

They know what to say, they know what to do, they know how to come in, and make havoc of pure things that may have started with the right heart, but oh…

They know how to raise their hands, they know how to dress, they know how to move, they know what to say…

It’s a disguise I say.

But now me and Bert pray, for we have a little bit of understanding now. You told us to come in demonstration, for how will they even pay attention, how will their faith even be in the words that are spoken, except they first see the power of God—the pure power of God.

Thank You for this revelation and understanding and what we’re dealing with in this religious spirit.

Now let’s give place to praying in the the Spirit together…

Bert:

Honest with God, honest with God…the honesty and unveiling starts with God; it starts with an individual’s relationship with the Lord, it starts with transparency, it starts with an unveiled face, it starts by beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror…it starts vertically with every believers’s relationship with the Lord…for you cannot hide from God…you can put a mask on but He sees through the mask.

For nothing is veiled but all is open and naked before Him with whom we have to give account and every creature is naked before God. For the sharp sword of His Word cuts through the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.

You cannot hide from Him!

So there is the need to walk before Him in purity and integrity and honesty without defilement and without guile and without hypocrisy and without malice, and as babes in Christ, desiring the sincere milk of the Word so that you may grow thereby.

As babes, as babes…for He hides His wisdom from the wise and prudent, but He reveals them unto babes, so as babes, desire the pure milk of the Word. And receive the wisdom, yea, even the hidden secrets of God.

Tongues…lots of tongues…

I’m reminded that the true apostolic and the true prophetic is in this manner—that it turns the hearts of the people towards God; it turns the motives of the hearts of the people towards God, and that which is veiled and masked is ripped apart, so that they see even as they should see and are known even as they’re known, not even just through a glass darkly, but in the Spirit they see, even as God sees what He desires for them to see at that moment and at that time.

So I see where we forget that that operation is supernatural and is such an integral and critical part of the apostolic and the prophetic even as you just said when ___________ ministered at __________, and his opening statements ripped a veil and ripped a mask off the fake and phony carnal prosperity gospel and it turned the motives of people’s hearts immediately toward God,  and it put them face to face with God and with pure truth, and then they decide.

For too many have spoken smooth words from smooth lips when there’s been war in their hearts.

Oh but the truly apostolic and prophetic even as seen in the early apostles and Peter in the early Church, oh, it ripped that mask and that veil and political talk (correctness) right off of people.

So I see the Church has had a mask, and many things have been veiled even as You have shown us today, and the great need is for true apostles and prophets to come with strong words and a certain kind of utterance that would penetrate and unmask and unveil those things which are hidden and that are hindering the Church and God’s people and pure truth from seeping through…hindering the true move of the Spirit of God, for the Spirit cannot be yoked with darkness, and what manner of agreement has God with Baal, and how can we dine at the table of God and the table of devils, and what accord has light with darkness?

So you see even the need of the hour, even as you’re beginning to write that My house shall no more be called a den of thieves but a house of prayer.

So you see that there must be a cleansing and there must be a purification before the true power can really come, for if the power comes without the purification the deception would grow and people would say, “Oh, God is pleased with us for He’s demonstrating His power and pouring out His Spirit and therefore He must be pleased,” and then people would continue to walk on in their blindness and in their deception.

For I will not pour out My power on a church that is blemished and full of pride and sin and deception…no, no, no for that would only further add to the deception that already is.

So there must be a purification, a purifying, a sanctifying, a cleansing of all the impurities that have been veiled and masked.

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.  If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

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