WHY ARE THEY LEAVING the CHURCHES??

-Andrew Strom.

Since we have been discussing the “Out-of-church” Christians, I think it is very important for us all – including church leaders – to look at the reasons why these people are leaving. Very often they are NOT “church-hoppers” or backsliders. A lot of them are leaving because they believe the CHURCH is backsliding!

So many people write to me from all over the world saying that
they have tried and tried – but they cannot find any fellowship in
their town that seems remotely biblical. They tell me they have
looked hard – but they are either cold, formal, or anti-charismatic
on one hand – or “hyper-charismaniac” or ‘seeker-sensitive’ on
the other. There hardly seems to be any balanced biblical approach
whichever way they turn.

It is easy to pass glib remarks like “There is no perfect church”
but my heart truly goes out to these ones because the church
scene has been bad for awhile – and seemingly growing worse
and worse. So what are people to do?

Below are some accounts that people have sent me about why
they have left the churches. We would love your comments on
this too at our website (link at the end)-

From: Peggy (-USA):
“My husband and I have been Christians for 30 years, home group
leaders for much of that time; my husband has also been a worship
leader for most of that time. However, now we are among the “out
of church” that your message describes, although we do continue
to meet and pray with other believers who feel the same longing
for something more real than we have experienced for longer than
we care to remember. The cry of our hearts is *not* to live on our
memories of incredible intimacy with God in years past, but to
discover Him anew and in deeper ways than ever before. We are
desperate for Him. In light of that hunger, the emptiness of our
church experience, a church we’d attended for 17 years, was
more than we could bear.”

From: Randy (-USA):
“I read an explanation of why the phenomenon is growing – the out-
of-church Christians. They say that we are lone rangers, backsliders,
not team players, have bitter root judgements…. This can’t be
further from the truth. When we have been attending church, we
find- No God – No Power- No Gospel- Bad Agendas- Poor Leader-
ship- Bad teaching- Bad programs- No Christ- No Healing- No
miracles. Just a struggle for personal power and control. I can’t tell
you how many times I have been treated like I am not going to
Heaven because I am not attending church. So, the sad part is,
where do we take our gifts, our tithes, and our love – but out to the
streets. We know many who have left the church, who are
committed as prayer warriors, intercessors, missionaries, and
worshippers. Wanting to share their gifts from God…”

From: Dorie (Canada)-
“I wanted to write to you because I am so frustrated and don’t know
what to do anymore… I grew up in a church denomination that was
wacky-charismatic with little-to-no-discernment and a lot of control/
spiritual abuse. About 10 years ago, the Lord gave me my first
wake-up call, grabbing my attention and then 5-6 years ago, another
big, final one…

Now I haven’t really been “a part of a Sunday-morning-church” for
a long, long time. I have “fellowship” with some Evangelical
Christians here in Calgary, but just can’t seem to be able to sit
through the dry services that seem filled with flowery messages,
as opaque as milk. (I want meat!!!) The worship feels like it is
being led by robots as do the people in the congregation. Or else,
the charismatic churches (Vineyard, Pentecostal, non-
denominational) where they’re not considered to be “dry” (so-to-
speak), are just plain wacky! My problem is: I miss really good
worship music and intimate worship times with people who love
to worship and aren’t being forced-to, but the only handful of
churches I know that have it, are wacky. People (worship leaders/
intercessors) are acting like Stacey Campbell and I get turned off
so much that I can’t tolerate the rest of the service. I feel so torn.
I can’t seem to find a church to “fit” in.

I’ve tried different denominations with no success. The last
evangelical “small group” I was in, ended breaking up because the
small-group pastor was purposely hiding the fact that a christian
couple who were co-leading with him, were living together and not
married. (Once saved, no need for any more personal repentance,
is what he preaches. Greasy-grace. Argh!)… The pastor also told
other young christians in that group that “sex before marriage was
fine”…

I have tried so many places and I’m not being fussy or picky, it
just seems really, really hard and weird here… I really want the
fellowship. I can’t seem to fit anywhere, and I am so frustrated that
I could just cry. I long to be with like-minded people, sold-out,
crazy-on-fire for Jesus, totally unashamed. Christians here seem
so focused on their careers, and houses, and cars, and vacations
and I feel like a stinkin’ hippie around them because I can’t live for
those things!!

What do you do when you want so desperately to be in a fellowship
of believers that is growing strong in the Word, intimate and deep
in worship, and not wacky? I am so discouraged and have a hard
time believing that it exists…”

-Please comment on this topic below-

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew on September 29th, 2010 at 3:53 am.

241 comments

241 Replies

  1. Kevin Oct 1st 2010

    For me it is about manifest authority. Leaders who are called by Christ will manifested the authority of Christ ie signs and wonders following the preaching of the true gospel.

    As the apostle Paul said, the Kingdom of God is about more than words, and he would see if any of the self appointed apostles really had any power when he arrived.

    With out leadership confirmed of Christ , there is a power vacuum that will be filled with that which is antichrist, and we aren’t called to serve two masters, so we leave.

  2. Emily Oct 1st 2010

    I feel there is too much commercialization in churches. To much of their stress about where the money is coming from to bring certain lighting or speakers to hear with. So I searched out scriptures for myself and that is when the LORD spoke to me to “come out of Babylon,” Now as I have stepped out of church I feel more rested. I rest in the LORD on the day He says to rest. I am the church, Jesus is the head of the church, and the rest of the believers make up the body also. I read scriptures for myself and the Holy Spirit leads me to His understanding and wisdom, of truth. I am righteous because He is righteous, I am holy because He is holy. I am walking my path to become as an example like Jesus my Master. He died on that cross for me to believe in the truth from the very beginning. I am light the very image of God. His blood covers my sin. And that is all I have to believe in. Not someone telling me I am no good cause I am a sinner. Jesus tells me differently. Amen

  3. HappyTrails Oct 1st 2010

    Hallelujah Randy…..It sounds like you have found the purpose for God’s asking SOME people to leave the “Institutes”. From Egypt, by way of the wilderness, and into the streets of THE LAND that He has given you to take back for His Kingdom.

    Peggy and Dorie….We have been so “INDOCTRINATED” into how followers are “suppose to “do church, worship,evangelism” etc etc etc, THAT WHEN GOD BREAKS US FREE FROM THE “INSTITUTE’S WAY” WE FEEL ALL ALONE AND WAYWARD.

    I say FEEL all alone and wayward. YOU are not alone or wayward.

    QUIT SEEKING FELLOWSHIP WITH PEOPLE AND SEEK FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS, AT HIS FEET, LIKE MARY. Learning to walk by faith in His Peace.

    Then God will lead you to the who, when, where…..just like Randy….In God’s own timing.

  4. As I read the replies they could easily be my family’s story. We too were members of a local church for 12 years. We begged leadership for ALL of us to fall on our face in repentance and to not simple do “business as usual.” For that is what it felt like–a business. Marketing was high on leadership’s mind. In fact we were taught “Marketing is the flip side of evangelism.” This was the final straw for us. We wanted God and we wanted our children to know the living God. Now what are we to do? Where are we to bring them? We have gone to many local “churches” in the past 10 months and cannot find a true fellowship. We do meet with other Christians who are seeking God with all there heart and want only TRUTH. We are willing to be thought less of (for we were leaders in the church we attended) rather than be a part of something false.

  5. Andrew and all brothers and sisters in Christ:
    It is impossible to be an ‘out of church Christian’. We must remember that Christ’s Church, the “assembly of the First-Born” spoken of in the Word of God, is made up of all those who are in Christ. East or west, north or south, every nation, tribe, tongue, male, female, barbarian, cultured, poor, rich, slave or free. We are the ekklesia “the called out to be together” people of God, and wherever we meet together, be it two or more of us, Christ Himself meets with us. When God sees the Church, He doesn’t see the boundaries we see, the artificial things that separate His true people. He sees only His own, the sheep of His pasture, wherever they are. Seek out others who love Him above religion, above leadership, above denomination, above everything else, and you will have fellowship. We’ve just gotten addicted to the Parade. But God is faithful, and He will “set the lonely in families” as we wait upon Him. Might be a small family, but it’s family!

    I’ve posted many teachings on this important subject on my website. Blessings to all.

    A. Brother Gary

  6. Susan Oct 1st 2010

    I left the Assemblies of God in 2007. I grew up in the Pentecostal church. However, what I saw in the church I left in ’07 was bordering on blasphemy. The pastor was wrapped up in the Purpose Driven book that he claimed changed his life. The church was involved in the pagan holidays as a form of outreach. The lack of discernment on the part of the leadership was so evident. One night I had a dream. I was sitting in the pews with my husband. Just below the ceiling of the church were birds flying around. All of them dirty and flapping all over the place. In my dream I asked the pastor to do something. He just told me to move toward the front. A few days later, as I was reading the scriptures the Lord showed me that the dirty fowl were indicators of demonic influences in that particular church. I never went back. I have been a follower of my Lord for many years. These 3 years, since I left the organized church system has been a time of spiritual growth like I have never experienced before. The Lord is coming for a people that walk with Him in Holiness, separated from the world, the flesh and the devil. Right now, I fellowship with a group of believers online. Here where I live, for the most part, the churches are without the Life of God. I’ve asked the Lord to connect me with other Christians that are in my situation. But the Lord desires to be our sufficiency and He is everything to me. He’s an Awesome Savior and God.

  7. Kevin Oct 1st 2010

    To add to what I said above,
    We should see Christ in our leaders that all called by Christ.
    Christs love, humility, kindness, authority and power should all be present in those who are truly called of Christ.

    Knowledge and a diploma are not signs of being called by Christ to serve in leadership.

  8. David Oct 1st 2010

    I think it’s significant that when Jesus gave his assessment of his seven churches in Asia, he didn’t recommend that anyone leave their church and go and find another one! In fact he urged, “Be faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10. To the church in Sardis he said this: “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. ” But again notice that Jesus didn’t tell these pure saints to leave the rest who were dead and go and find another group!!

  9. Nora Labonte Oct 1st 2010

    Testimony here; Before this time {after moving here from another State}, we first went to a church for about 8 months, yet we wanted something that was closer to home…then my husband and myself, and for about 2 1/2 years we did not go to… a ‘church’. As the one that we were in previously come to find out was a ‘false signs & wonders church”. We began to see that there was something very amiss after about a couple months of being there, yet we tried to not just leave, as we so wanted to be faithful. If it was one that saved souls etc, then we would of stayed, yet the Lord removed us. Even though there has been allot of apostasy in “the Church” we still wanted fellowship, we craved this, because we knew that we wanted to follow after the Lords will.

    I think what has been very discouraging was that all we’ve seen was cliquishness, or places like a ‘social club’ and people that were not genuine. Some have so missed the mark, yet there are indeed some very good church’s out there, I’m just blessed to have found one, and my Pastor friends on my page are very dear to us as well.

    Now we can finally say that we are in a church where the preaching is not only being taught word by word {as we follow in our own bibles}, but souls are continually coming forth. We are learning to grow once again where we’ve been planted. I’m very grateful, is it perfect? No, do we have friends there yet? No, but we will, and more important all the Lord is there, and his spirit is very evident! This is what will keep us going, AMEN! HALLELUJAH.See More
    9 minutes ago · Like

  10. Kevin Oct 1st 2010

    #
    David Oct 1st 2010

    I think it’s significant that when Jesus gave his assessment of his seven churches in Asia, he didn’t recommend that anyone leave their church and go and find another one!

    My comment is that Christ was still in control of the church you mentioned, and He was giving revelation to the church to follow, so yes , He wont ask anyone to leave the church that belongs to Him, that is under His authority.

  11. namelessdisciple Oct 1st 2010

    A friend of mine, Reverend Dr David Pennant, wrote a book called “The Priorities of Jesus” in which he tells of coming to the conclusion,as a curate of an Anglican church, that true discipleship is obeying the commands of Jesus and that alone. This is clearly biblical since Jesus himself said “If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching”.

    His book is uncomfortable reading since, as the book points out, so much of what we do in church and in “out of church” meetings are merely “traditions of men”, not simply obeying the commands of Jesus.

    For those interested, his book is available as a free download here:

    http://www.diychurch.co.uk/

  12. scott Oct 1st 2010

    Church is not a building OR a meeting place. It is God’s people. When two or more meet together, Jesus is there.

    The western idea of church is quite skewed. Just because they’re been doing it wrong for 1700 years and calling a building or cathedral a “church”, doesn’t mean we have to participate with them.

    If the “church” really took the days we live in seriously, they would be preparing people for the darkness that is to come, rather than marketing, raising money, selling books and CD’s, and building monuments to meet in. They’d be seeking the lost, healing the sick, binding up the broken hearted and all of what God talks about in Ezekiel 34.

    This is the Laodicean church age.

  13. Louise Switzer Oct 1st 2010

    I’ve been “out” for nine years now and am closer to the Lord and the true gospel message, which is the kingdom of God, than ever before. Actually, we do not need what we have become so accustomed to in our time, which is “church” on Sunday etc. Before the judges in Israels’s time, people were just in families and followed the commandments of God “doing what was right in their own eyes.” This statement was not made to indicate they were doing evil; just the opposite. So although I certainly understand the wanting to belong to a fellowship, we should be content in our purpose which is to glofigy God in whatever we are doing. If we are following Him He will take us where and to whom we need to go.
    Blessing dear brothers and sister!
    Louise

  14. David Oct 1st 2010

    Kevin said: My comment is that Christ was still in control of the church you mentioned, and He was giving revelation to the church to follow, so yes , He won’t ask anyone to leave the church that belongs to Him, that is under His authority.
    My response to you, Kevin? Absolutely correct! If it’s a true church – a church that belongs to Christ – then we must remain faithful – no matter how difficult the circumstances. There are too many “freelance” Christians who have no commitment to work faithfully with a congregation and do the hard yards, but who instead just flitter about visiting others and having a good time!
    David

  15. Vince Cedrone Oct 1st 2010

    God called us to start a spirit led home group over two years ago. We are so sick of religion, but will go back into a church if God calls us too. I believe God has a remnant in churches and if that remnant is called out then that is the end of that church. I also believe that God is going to wake up the church. I do not believe they are going to like the way they are going to be awakened.

    Vince, Montgomery Alabama

  16. Randy Ailie Oct 1st 2010

    I have been told by the Lord for many years about a mass exodus from the church as we know it that is run by men, manipulated by satan himself and out of balance in so many areas there is simply no room on this forum to discuss it. There is a huge crisis coming that is going to purge the system. We as leaders need to recognize and address this. He is promising to visit his church in a way we have never seen before. A few years back I was in a meeting with other well known leaders to pray about what the Lord wanted us to hear. 3 angels visited us. This was witnessed by everyone there! They spoke to us concerning this coming visitation and what we had to do to prepare for this. The gist of it can be seen on Maurice Smiths “The parousian network”. but it left an indelible mark on almost everyone there for years now. Most of us walked around in stunned silence with bouts of crying for months. They told us to shun or stay away from the big things that were being promoted by the church. They talked to us directly about spending quiet intimate time with him, alone! As we heard this there was an open vision of Jesus sitting in a small clearing in the woods, by a small gurgling stream covered by moss. And as this happened the room filled up with the smell of moss. This intimacy is the foundation of everything, and the hardest! The second Angel talked to us about the Lord bringing his Holiness back to the church. And the third talked to us about the Lord himself bringing the very Terror of God back to the church. This has left and indelible mark on me. the entire church as we know it in everhy form and manner has departed from these thoughts. And until he himself restores these and or we begin to cry out for this nothing of any credibility in the church remains of the presence of the Holy Spirit. And we all know that it is him that draws all men unto himself. When you have truly tasted of the Holy Spirit and sat in a true well of his presence, then told by numerous leaders that the dry hole they were camped in was of the Lord and presented with buckets of dry sand. You know the differance. Like bad food at a restaurant, when you have come back time and time again for bad bland food with horrible portions and terrible service. You just quit coming back.

  17. When I was first ‘called out’ of the establishment church I was at a loss. I had always had abundant confirmations for leading,staying or leaving since the Lord showed me many years ago, through Nehemiah, I would be led to different places. I have been ‘out of the loop’ now for about 7 years and, no matter how many times I asked for confirmation of where I was supposed to go next, the doors remained firmly shut.
    I even wondered during that time, if I was backslidden myself!
    Yet, He confirmed again and again, that my present position had been according to His plans for me at this time. (I say that, because it could change anytime).
    During this time He has done a deep work in me and has opened doors for me to learn even more. He has opened my eyes and understanding to the deceptions in this time since He instructed me to ‘know my enemy’. That opened up areas to me I would never have voluntarily gone down. Yet, it has prepared me and given me some amazing insights and connected me with many friends mostly who live abroad. He has now opened up a way for me to be able to encourage those who were before this time, perfect strangers who, in the normal manner, I would never have known. Far from this time causing me to wander from the truth, it has caused me to get deeper into it and to see and discern the false.
    I know this time will not be wasted as I see it as a training ground and preparation for what is to come.
    The apostle Paul did not confer with flesh and blood after his initial conversion and was absent from the scene I think it was 11 years before Barnabus brought him to Jerusalem. The training he underwent at the Holy Spirit’s guidance stood him in good stead and he became a mighty blessing the fruit of which we are partakers today.
    In the end, it’s all about where our hearts lie and Who is our first love. The wilderness time is where our hearts are tested. Perhaps we are here because we couldn’t settle for the status quo and desired more. Whatever the reason, in time, we shall see it will not be wasted.
    Lets just be prepared for whatever God’s plans are for each of us as individuals and stop worrying about what folks are saying and only care about what God says about us. In the end, that is what really matters. His, opinion is what will stand. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
    shalom and blessings.

  18. Philip Vermaak Oct 1st 2010

    The holy spirit will only lead you in all and to all truth, if you are being lead away from the “church” then you can praise God for the isolation will bring sanctification and new revelation. If Elijah had to endure the cave experience then surely we can endure the “out of church”experience for a season to hear what it is that God is trying to teach or tell us? I think we are sometimes so busy going around the same mountain {40 years} that we forget what it is to hear that soft gentle voice of the spirit.

  19. Geoff Oct 1st 2010

    About 20 years ago, after seven years as a young and zealous evangelical, I found myself in a place of disilusionment on many levels. I was not convinced of the ‘love’ shown (both to God and to me) by the Christians around me was genuine. There was either shallow surface level interactions or objectifying evangalism and sometimes coming close to great genuine fellowship but then when it realy came to the crunch, abandonment. This and many other issues intertwined and I found myself getting confused about God. I did not know how to be in true fellowship with him as much as with other Christians. So not being able to be hot, I chose cold. I still believed in God but I could not describe what my relationship was with him and could not understand enough of him to know how to interact. I kept the part of Jesus that I could salvage and threw myself into the world of ‘social justice’.
    Twelve years later, I found myself needing to articulate God more concretely for the sake of my young children and as I started to consider that there may be some spiritual (demonicly influenced and spiritual wounding) issues in my life, God dramatically downloaded to me one day that I had become an angry man and was now the kind of man that I would have been if I had not met Christ at all in my youth. I prayed and cried with some Christian friends about the sin that I had started to see in my life and decided that I could not fight the yearning to be in fellowship with God any more. So I gave up and worshipped God for the first time in 14 years (the above proces had taken two).

    Part of this process was realising that “the church” was a big group of people struggling with all variety of issues. They weren’t going to get everything right (as much as they should be trying), but it was my job to ask God to “search my heart” and start to get a few more things right.
    I went back to one of the churches that I had attended in my youth because I felt that I had forgiven some things that were done and God seemed to be asking me to rejoin with them in an act of forgiveness. Sinse then (about six years) I have gone through many many learnings and growth. A great big part of the growth has been God showing me the big log jam that has been in my life. As I have interacted within a church felowship and seen many many shortfalls, I have asked God what is my part in this and he has first shown me what had to be more right in my life and through this, how I could love those around me better (even the onse that were getting things wrong).
    Currently , my desire is to seek out more people who are dep seekers of Christ and be in fellowship with them in seeking the deepest parts of God that we can find, but also be in regular fellowship witth the wider community of those trying to understand God (some more and less successfully).
    Reality is that there will allways be a bit of a fruit salad of people in the mix of people trying to make sense of life through seeking God or being involved in a church community. In amongst this is the need for each of us to ask God to search “our hearts and find if there is any wicked way within us” and then pray for and love the people around us. That may involve challenging others sometimes, but it has to be done in love. If we have to be salt in the world, than this may also include the worldly parts of the groups of people that are sometimes called church.
    This is the short version of the way I have moved through this difficult issue and I am only at the beginning.
    It is encouraging to me that it seems there is a world wide movement of people that are grappling with this. I pray that you and I are all able to keep up the search for the “right way”.
    God says “If my people (those truly sold out to Christ) will humble themselves and pray … and turn form their wicked ways…then I will heal their land (the parts of this existance where God has victory planned)”.
    God bless

  20. Joanna Oct 1st 2010

    We are still part of the body and need to be assembled with other christians…perhaps the answer is to seek the Lord in possibly moving out of the area. I have cried out to the Lord regarding this and He actually brought in 3 young pastors from out of the area who preach the true unadulterated gospel of grace in a small open storefront downtown about 2 miles from me. Praise God

  21. Loretta Oct 1st 2010

    I hope it is ok to be honest here. I’ve never been in a Pentecostal church. I was in 2 churches and each was very different. First I was in a Neo-Evangelical modern willowcreek type church for 20 years. They were top-down corporate business model control. The Holy Spirit was not allowed. If you had gifts that operated at all in this, you were suppressed and shown the door. Evangelism was mocked from the pulpit and we were told to bring them in the doors by any way necessary. The place was run like a corporation; everyone had a job. Again, the Spirit was not there at all. Not in the worship, not in the singing, not in the preaching. It was like attending University. Sermons were guaged to the intellectual sensitivities of the educated corporate upper class seekers. My husband was “fired” from staff (he was a tech guy). The elders told the staff he decided to quit; a blatant lie. I found this out the hard way. The sunday school lady pastor was telling the teachers not to teach the kids any uncomfortable type doctrine (the things like holiness, justice etc) because “we want them to come thru out doors!” She incorporated Diaprax, New Age practices, communitarianism, and the religion of Environmentalism into the curriculum. After being quiet for 20 years and working to serve the Church in ss, I wrote a 10 page paper about “Why one cannot be a — (occult member)– and a Christian.” The head pastor tole me it was “unloving”. He questioned my interest in “Truth”. He asked me if i was not into “those Discernment ministries”? I was then disenfranchised. They said they needed everyone to volunteer for their Vision 2010 (this was in 2005). They needed teachers to lead the new believer bible studies. I volunteered. I was told I may not teach a new believer bible study because I had not been through THEIR training material. They told me I could be “in” a group. I submitted to that acknowledging God may be humbling me, and then the Church called and told me my group was cancelled. Again i was not allowed to teach. They said they would not put me in another group because they were all “full”. They said you cannot have more than the required # in each group. I got the study book and found out that they were using Diaprax and teaching false doctrine, totally going against scripture, and the purpose of the groups was for getting people Diapraxed to consensus and committed and loyal to the group, ala group therapy. Had NOTHING to do with being discipled IN CHRIST. They knew I would not tolerate this curriculum and barred me from involvement even though they said they required 100% involvement from all church members. This book had many antiChristian teachings and methods. It is called Discipleship Essentials by Greg Ogden and I am speaking about the leader training portion.

    Finally, the end came there when they invited Chap Clark from Fuller to pull a Diaprax seminar, totally denying Christ. He diapraxed believers with unbelievers and synthesized the consensus of Humanistic Psychology and the happiness of our children above all. It was a seminar about “Understanding the Hearts and Minds of Teens Today”. He did not tell the gospel to the seekers, and he did not teach Bible truth to the Christians. He diapraxed them together and taught the Psychology mantra. He taught the opposite of what the Lord says in the Bible on the subject of parenting, witnessing and loyalty to Christ. His main point was this: “Friends are the # ONE important thing. NOTHING must get in the way. He taught that we and the teens must deny Christ and be disobedient to His Word because acceptance by the social peer group was of paramount importance to all. This seminar was attended by 600 people- Church people and community people. Later in an email, Clark told me the church’s purpose for having him speak was to let the community know we are interested in their everyday concerns. Finally, we left after that when the lead pastor preached this false gospel to 1500 packed in for the Christmas eve service: “Imagine if billions of people collectively (!!!) around the world said YES to God tonight. There would be PEACE! We would solve Aids, poverty, racism……………..” Later I found out from a reliable source (my husband who is friends with staff ppl) that this speech was bought for $ from Willowcreek and read word for word (memorized).

    The second Church was a traditional church. We were so freaked out from the first one, we looked for something the opposite of where we had been. This one had no Holy Spirit, was dead, no concern for the lost, taught some false doctrines, and frankly had no love even for sheep– (it was earned thru being a good church person) and was legalistic and outward form- looking good on the outside -righteousness. If you dressed nice, went to church, brought your entire family, etc. Struggling believers (walking wounded) were shot while they were down. You had to always be happy and “blessed” or you were in sin. There was a spirit of condemnation, guilt and religion.

    I found myself working very hard to fit in- to conform to the culture of the Church and be what THEY wanted me to be– and I was going against my conscience to do this. I was becoming religious, taking pride when I dressed up “pretty” in skirts and acted a certain proper Christian lady way– so I could be acting like them and fitting in to the Club. This grieved the Spirit yet I tried anyway to conform- to belong, to fit in and be accepted. Because the way I really am- jeans, real about my struggles, ministry outside of the box of the church building, (I’d rather do the Tenderloin than Ladie’s Tea)–did not set well with them.

    The truly scary thing was I was living for and serving Church, and not the Lord Jesus. I was trying to please Church, not Jesus. I was trying to be obedient to Church not Jesus. I left my first Love to follow the System, to try to please Man! And I was knowingly !!! suppressing the work and leading of the Holy Spirit, to do this. That is scary.

    Freedom came when my dh said, “I think we are done with ——” (Church). God also released me and made me free—-at the same time. (This was just last Jan.2010). He told me I am released from this bondage and free in Him to live in His Spirit and in His freedom. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it has been, with Jesus in these last 9 months. It is like I am re- born again in fact I have not felt like this since 1985 when I was born again before i got committed to serving The REligious System of Man.

    I am de-churching now and receiving healing from the Lord. The good thing is and I praise and thank God, is that He has brought me back to HIM, to be with Him to walk with Him to follow and please and serve and live for HIM and not some substitute (anti-christ means against or in place of!). He is with me and leads me. The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want. He feeds me upon His mountains! I am free to be His and to follow Him wherever He goes! Hallelujah!!

  22. By this subject, Andrew, are forcing me to say something, I am sure it’s not intentional! When I came out of that which calls it’s self Christianity 15 years ago, I had a hope. My hope was directed by the Spirit of God. I read scriptures like,
    Isa 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

    Don’t you understand, Isaiah 1:21, the faithful City has become a harlot? Come on guys, do not harbor an evil imagination, I am not here to glorify me! The Lord made it clear to me many years ago how this would happen and it is happening before my eyes! Come out of the Harlot dear fellow Saints, because the Lord has purposed destruction and the habitation of Devils on her! The Lord is going to turn things up side down, he is making the wilderness, where I dwell, a fruitful field, and he is making the fruitful field “the church” a desolation. Go ahead David, try as you may to convince people to stay in what you call “The Church”, God is overturning it, it is a harlot! When it comes to worship, don’t worship with them, they do not worship the Lord but idols and the outer court shall be given to the “gentiles, or the enemy” and he shall tread it under foot” you and I who understand, we must stand in the holy place, in that secret place of the most high, and those who do this shall be hid from him in the day of his wrath. Why are we sooo surprised by this? Don’t try to save “the church”, but love those who he loves, and shows his favor upon by revealing his truth unto them. He has hid his truth from those who are wise in this world and delivered it unto babes! Am I your enemy because I tell you the truth? God will do according to his pleasure, regardless of what you think!

  23. Randall Oct 1st 2010

    This is too close to home for me.

    Let me ask everyone a question.

    I attend a small church of 100 or so, because too many people and pastors ask “What church do you attend?” as if not attending church means that you are disobedient to God and a flagrant sinner, at the bare minimum rebellious.

    One Sunday I attended the service, after suffering a really bad night from a very severe attack of Meniere’s syndrome which ate into my spirit. I had to battle the strong fear of being abandoned by God. Not one person in the church was even aware of my intense struggle the previous night, and everyone cruised out the door as if everything was fine. No spiritual ministry that I observed.

    Add to that, that the pastor’s main message is that God is a smiley face, i.e. God is in a good mood, so we need to relate to him that way. I cannot get over that smiley face picture. God is not a blooming idiot smiley face.

    Lately the spiritual warfare seems to have increased, but during the last year, not one mention of doing spiritual warfare in the church, it’s been singing songs like “Heaven came down like a big wet sloppy kiss” and “my heart jerks violently in my chest”

    What kind of songs are these?

    Yet, I fear going to talk to the pastor and telling him something’s wrong. I feel like our spiritual sight has been turned to blindness.

    I think this is why most people quietly disappear, and then the pastors ask “Where is everyone?”

  24. Sandy Oct 1st 2010

    I have basically pulled out of the traditional Church as we know it for many reasons. My heart is and has been grieved over the church for years. I think bottom line is the Holy Spirit has been pushed out and man has taken over and planned the way Church should be.,It started years ago when first they cut out Sunday evening services so (there would be more family time).Slowly I saw them come in and make the services seeker friendly so that the pews would start to fill up.Gifts could only move according to what they thought and usually it would be encouraged on a Sunday night- then they took that away. From there entertainment came in-power points instead of Holy spirit lead sermons, videos during the services etc etc.. No more praying for the sick if needed, no more testimonies of what God has done for you no more encouragement for the saints. The focus turned to getting disciples instead of training them and sending them out. . The Body not working together joint to joint but the head of the Church(and the board are running the show)Its an unhealthy body and I believe is on Life support slowly to die off soon. But I agree the Lord has a remnant and I truly believe he called us out to prepare us for what is coming. We have to be able to hear his still small voice and we can only do that away from the distractions of the world and from the Church as we know it. Deception is key in the last days and I truly believe it is in the church. Am I saying all those in the structure church are wrong and deceived “NO” but I am thankful that he has called me out though I have to admit its a lonely path outside of the kindred spirit I feel with Brothers and sisters I have never met, I have only fellowship with a few. Prayer is my heartbeat and I no longer even hear of the importance of Prayer. As Jesus said “My house would be a House of Prayer “I long to see it and long to be it. We are in training -and soon we will be sent out to declare the things he has spoken in the secret place to us and train us to do. So this is some of the reasons I am not in Church, I truly miss it and Do miss the fellowship of the saints, presence of my Jesus and the chance to pour into the saints what the Lord has given me. But I worship with online services and music at home and still continue to pray the Lord will send down his rain on all the saints and wake up the Church to deception. I am thankful for all you have shared. Blessing my Brothers and sister in Christ.

  25. ephesia Oct 1st 2010

    Sometimes people don’t want to go to a church because of it being”wacky”. I don’t know what experiences you’ve had but if the wackiness is biblical, you can rest assured it’s God ordained. A lot of people think tounges and interpretations are “wacky” or dancing in the Spirit, etc. There are some truly wierd things going on. But if the early church experience it, I want to, as well. If you can’t find it in the Bible, don’t do it.

    Another problem I’ve seen is that people don’t want to change. They feel that God called them in what ever shape they are in so there is no need to change. But our God transforms us in to His image. If we aren’t allowing that change, we won’t feel as if we belong.

    Lastly, we need to be washed in the Blood of Jesus, filled with his Spirit, submitting ourselves one to the other. These are the basic principles of Christianity, But how many of you readers were Baptised in the Name of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tounges? With out this experience there will be no fullfillment in Christ. You MUST be born again to understand spiritual things. If you go to a Church that preaches any other response to the Gospel message, RUN as fast as you can to a Church that obeys the scriptures. I can’t tell you how angry I am at Churches that call themselves “Bible Believing” but DON”T really believe. We must be born again. And that is not saying the sinners prayer and thinking thats giving your life to Jesus. Study to show thyself approved. Do what everyone of the Apostles did on the day of Pentecost-the Birthday of the Church. Do what the Samaritans did to be saved, do what the Gentiles did. Study the Book of Acts and have the same experience and Then, start your own Church. Go from house to house with other believers that are being transformed just like you. But please, please, experience salvation the way the Bible tells you to. Your soul depends on it

  26. Randall Oct 1st 2010

    http://www.parousianetwork.org/Newsletter_Archive/Parousia_Weekly_E-Letter_For_05_02_07.htm is an account of the angelic visitation that Randy Allie talked about.

  27. TsGrammy Oct 1st 2010

    for those with ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church:
    http://www.SonlifeTV.com

  28. Loretta Oct 1st 2010

    Have to say that I agree with Robert B.’s prophetic assessment of the Institutional Church System I see it also as infiltrated by the enemy and fully leavened; the desolation, that which shall be overturned and “thrown down”(Matt24:2). I see it as the Harlot, the woman that rides the Beast that we must come out of, in order to be in the Holy Place with the Lord Jesus Christ.

  29. Cheryl Oct 1st 2010

    We knew it was time to abandon the system when the system abandon Christ. Seldom did we hear the finished work of Christ and who we are in him. It was hype talk of miracles and about numbers, the building…the “I” syndrome…We are non-churchers and closers to God then we have ever been. It has always been about Chirst and Christ has always been about his body/us….we are the church rather we are in a building or not, we are his body.

  30. I most ID with David on this issue. How easy it is to fling labels at all congregations. There are no more perfect churches than there are Christians. How easy it is to call everyone who meets in a structure locally anti-christ. Have you no fear of God! Or are you just that judgemental.
    I tell you this, put everyone who has condemned most all churches as harlots and un-true on this very gathering (web site) into a room and you will find this congregation to be as bad or worse than those you condemn.
    Instead of following Christs command to “Not forsake the gathering of saints” (The local, or a local church) you sit on the street or web and call the imperfect, impure. You certainly have either more clarity or less fear of God than I.

  31. Michael Oct 1st 2010

    For Peggy and Randy in Andrew’s email, as well as others, I would like to recommend two books that were a tremendous help to me.

    The first, “The Harlot Church System” (by Newbold-free at his site – http://www.christineboudreau.ca/newbold/or/harlot/harlottoc.html) explains in great detail your hurting and journey out of the church “system”.

    The second, “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore” (available at Amazon- no affiliation) is a wonderful book that tells the story of “how” to have fellowship in Christ with other disciples outside of the “system”.

    Once I read these two, there was no more guilt, NONE. AND, there was freedom to seek mutual fellowship in Christ with others of like-spirit.

    Enjoy!

  32. Clare Watts Oct 1st 2010

    I truly can relate to most of everything that was said above. My heart went out to Peggy, Randy and Dorie. It all sounded SO familiar. When God started to show me things that were wrong with the AOG church that I attended back in Australia some years ago, I would pray about it, and deep sorrow filled me. I also felt my spirit would give me no peace until I spoke up about it. Feeling far better at the written word than confronting them verbally, I would pray the LORD to give me the words to write, and the scriptures to stand on it. Over a period of months I was marginalized and treated like a leper. I watched the pastors tell us of the awesome “miracles” that they had been a part of at some retreats – gold dust, a gold tooth appear in someone’s mouth and other crazy things. I watched people at the “altar” on Sundays begin to do crazy things that I now identify as the Kundalini spirit. Sadly I ended up leaving. I felt a twinge of fear in leaving, wondering whether it was I who was wrong or them….perhaps I was “missing the boat”….Satan had a dig at me. I ran to the LORD. He strengthened me and showed me that I had done what He wanted me to do, and I began to fellowship with a really sold-out bunch of of about 14 Christians at an “out-of-church” spirit-filled Baptist pastor’s home. We had a WONDERFUL time around the Word, in worship and prayer. It was Spirit led, and we all came from such different backgrounds! What a time of blessing and joy it was. I am still in touch with them, and we still have an awesome bond in Christ although it is now 5 years since the LORD sent me to the USA to serve Him here. I do not “belong” to any “denomination” or building. I AM a part of the body of Christ, and have wonderful friends and brethren I fellowship with on-line, and from time to time, touching lives. It has strengthened me, and I know that I am TOTALLY dependent on HIM at all times for ALL my need, and to know His will where He would lead me. It has set me apart, but it has also filled me with a longing to be a part of a group of people – in the flesh, who walk the same walk, as you all seem to do.

    I DO believe that the LORD is raising up a remnant of people, set apart to Him, who ARE prepared at this time to stand alone, abiding in Him and He in them, each one united by the Holy Spirit in love to be gathered together when He comes on That Day to be with Him!

    I say to ALL who are standing alone – you are NOT alone, there are many like yourselves that love you and long for us all to be united in our love for Him. Stand in Truth, always…and WATCH!

  33. 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    This is the scripture that I was given by the Lord as I tearfully sought Him many years concerning the attacks I encountered and the pain that was continually inflicted on me no matter where I sought fellowship.
    In tears I called out to him as to why I cound not find a ‘home’, and other believers who knew Him like I did, and immediately that scripture flooded my soul.
    My first thought was, “Am I not walking in the light? Is that the problem Lord?” And His words again flooded my soul, “No son, it is not you who is not walking in the light.”
    At that very moment my heart was lifted and my spirit soared as His love overwhelmed me.
    He then began to show me the wilderness life, and assured me that there were indeed others who were being treated the same way and finding their way to the wilderness also. And that those who made it through the wilderness would enter into His remnant camp, and into their destinies as end-time workers for the coming judgments and tribulation.

  34. Michael Oct 1st 2010

    Geoff said: “About 20 years ago, after seven years as a young and zealous evangelical….” WOW, Geoff. What a wonderful testimony?

    Christ didn’t forsake the Jews by condemning them, He walked and taught among them until “they” rejected Him. All for the love He had for them.

    Geoff seems certainly to be trying to be “Christ-like” to those who Christ still loves.

  35. Something the Lord gave me awhile back:

    THE BRIDE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING! by Marty Clayton Banfield

    The Lord said that He is “Cleaning House”, and not just MY house, or YOUR house, but He is also cleaning the so called “House of God”. In a vision, I saw myself, my husband, and some others riding in a car, and we were going up and down many city streets. We first drove up in front of a bank, and then as we all began praying together in unity (in the car), right in front of our eyes the bank morphed into what I saw was then called a “House Of God”, and was no longer a bank. The bank was actually flattened and the House of God built over the bank building. Then we left the bank ( now House of God) and drove up in front of a restaurant, and we sat in the car again, praying. Then the restaurant, just like the bank, morphed into what was called a “House of God.” We were continuing on in the city in this way, stopping at different everyday places of business, praying, and they would then turn into “Houses of God” with no vestige of the former building being left at all.

    This tells me that the “church” is not IN the so called “Church Buildings” which we see today. It seems to be everywhere but IN the church building. Could THIS be the Great Apostasy? There seems nothing left of the true church except alot of “dead men’s bones”, and the “church buildings” themselves appear to be the APOSTATE CHURCH. The “true church” has written Ichabod upon the organized and self proclaimed Church Building, it appears.

    Most believe that those who are leaving the churches are “apostate”, but it seems to be the other way around….that those who stay and partake of her evils and whoredoms, are actually the “Apostate Church.”

    Just look at the monstrous churches that are being built, the “mega-churches” with their huge congregations and implemented programs of “entertainment” and “prosperity” seminars. A terrible thing has happened, and all is not as it appears in today’s modern churches. The Glory of God seems to have “left the building”, and a terrible counterfeit of the true church seems to be in place, right in time for the Anti-Christ to make full use of.

    But never fear, brothers and sisters, for the “gates of hell” cannot prevail against the TRUE CHURCH! (Matthew 16:18) She is referred to as “The Bride” in Revelation (Rev. 21:2) , and the Bridegroom is coming for a “spotless bride”, and she WILL be spotless when the Bridgegroom comes. The True Bride might have to meet in homes, warehouses, or the hedges or byways, or the open air, but oh she is STILL THE BRIDE.! If she is found in a restaurant, or even a bank, oh but she is still the Bride, and she is involved in helping to gather the Endtimes Harvest. She is going to be “about the Father’s business”, and that is the endtimes harvest of souls. The so called “Churches” are sitting on their rich, and royal padded seats, saying, just as the letter to the church in Laodicea, from the Lord, described :

    (Rev. 3:17, 18) “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

    My brothers and sisters, The True Bride has left the building! Jesus is “takin’ it to the streets!”

  36. Roger Souden Oct 1st 2010

    Thankyou Andrew, for posting this thread, thats another big hug coming my friend….
    I weep when I read these testimonies… this IS the Church/Ekklesia/Body of Christ that God is Himself building – for His Glory. ..and I read here of the same heartache that I and others I know have long had.

    Has the time now come for His Body to be gathered for His purpose..?

    In Jesus our Lord,
    Roger

  37. Just as the Lord allowed the Israelites to go into physcial captivity in Egypt, so too did He allow His Church to go into spiritual captivity under the religion called ‘christianity’.

    Like Exodus (which is absolutely 100% prophetically true for today), He is leading HIS people OUT of their bondage and are preparing to take them into the Promised Land….the coming Kingdom of the Lord.

    This is nothing to be upset about or even concerned about, except when you understand how many people are still stuck in their religions and trapped inside the ‘prison houses’ called ‘church’.

    No….there won’t be some miraculous ‘rapture’ to take everyone away before the tribulation, but it is very important to understand how we need the Lord now more than ever.

    America (USA/Canada) has done exactly what ancient Israel did by turning our backs on Him; we will now pay the price. Look at the leader of the US today…….we deserve that ungodly fool.

    Sardis- means to ‘remove’ or to ‘renovate’. True believers in the Lord will remove themselves from the prison houses and become Philadelphia, while those who renovate themselves putting a new face on the same ol crap called ‘church’ today, is Laodecia.

    His will be done. Not ours. :)

  38. Right after I posted my comment, I came across an article today that spells out very very clearly EXACTLY what is going on with Christianity today.

    It was written by Elinor Montgomery of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

    Institutional churchism has become irrelevant in this society. It is just another religious system, which makes up the religion of Christianity, with all its many different religious denominations. There is no way to distinguish churchism from the culture today.

    Many Christians are as guilty as the non-Christians, when it becomes a matter of sexual immorality, disregard for marriage vows, abortion, children born out of wedlock, involvement in pornography, drug and alcohol abuse and homosexuality. And so the list goes on and on. The problem begins with the fact that Christianity is a religion, reflecting the culture of the day, instead of defining the church of Jesus Christ in which there is no religion.

    Institutional churchism is headed for the chopping block while the true church, at the same time, is coming out of religion where it has been entombed for centuries. She will again stand on her ancient apostolic foundation of truth.

    In the early days, Jesus formed His church outside of the religion of Judaism. He is about to restructure His church again today in the same manner, by calling it out of Christianity before it all comes tumbling down. Paul, the apostle, did more than any other man to break the chain that bound the church to religion.

    Did Jesus keep the Feast Days? There is certainly evidence that He kept the Passover and, most certainly, He would have honored all of the other Feasts, which God gave to Israel. For their fulfillment was found in Him, with the exception of the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are yet to be fulfilled.

    He was the Passover Lamb of God on the cross, at which time He atoned for the sins of man, He has removed the leaven of religion and He has sent the Holy Spirit to believers. The world awaits His trumpet call to rally His army of witnesses to battle in the next and final war between God and Satan for the souls of man. The call will be to His church of spiritual Israel to come out of the nations of the world and into the house of Israel.

    Most Christian leaders are like dead men walking. In their spiritual malaise, they cannot stand against Political Correctness and the denial of absolute truth, for it would hinder their own lifestyles as participants of the cultures in which they live. Theologies allow for such participation, as breeders of hypocrisy, for you cannot be a true priest of God and embrace anything but His truth.

    The cultures of the world are ruled by their father, the devil. His desire is for the worship of man, and for man to reject the exclusivity, which God demands, by labeling it narrowness. The culture cannot coexist with this narrow message of the Bible, for sin is rampant today, with the religion of Christianity playing its role right alongside of all the other religions.

    Christians are in a dilemma; they know Christianity is not working, and they have had the truth cut from their lives by the very priesthood, which should have been its defender. But the priests are afraid of losing their audiences and of losing the funds, which keep religious buildings functioning.

    Those who hate the culture of sin today will find no place in the halls of Christianity or in any other religious buildings, for that matter. They abhor the religious carnival tent of multiculturalism. They will equally abhor the introduction of the Hindu synchronism of spiritualism and mysticism now permeating the doctrines of Christianity.

    The world loves the lie that truth is an individual matter and each man’s truth is different from another’s. Secularism is enamored with eastern thought and meditation, behind which lurks the spirit of sorcery and witchcraft. Hence, the poverty of eastern nations caught in witchcraft, for God is the Provider of all good things for those who love and obey only Him.

    The West has known none of the famine of the East but rather has enjoyed great abundance under the rule of God in America, when He was loved and honored by God-fearing Americans, rather than rejected by them. He is a very exclusive God, yet reaches out continually to all people to come to Him, and receive peace and joy in their lives. The true church was called to reach out rather than hide behind the walls of institutionalism.

    For centuries now, the church has been deceived by the powers to be about her true nature. Her end has come, with Jesus getting ready to return to claim His Kingdom rule on earth, for which believers have been praying for centuries, in accordance with His teaching us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is a very exclusive and yet all-inclusive Kingdom for anyone from any nation of the world, who can accept the truth of Jesus and, at the same time, rejects the cultic religions, which separate men from God.

    Nothing can be surer than the fact that Christianity is headed for the chopping block. For He is the Word made flesh, and no one who has ever lived has ever been more exclusive than Jesus as the risen Lord and King of this world. No other man has risen to eternal life. He will share His throne with no one but His bride who loves the truth, called Jesus, her Beloved.

    There is no room in this marriage bed for a third one called religion. The lie will never come between Jesus and His bride. Her role is prophesied throughout Scripture right alongside of her King Jesus. She is as Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Deborah, Ruth, Elizabeth and Mary, mother of Jesus. All have been symbols of the true woman who will bear spiritual sons and daughters for the Lord.

    This has always been the role of man – to be a fruitful marriage partner for the Lord God by producing a bride for Jesus and sons and daughters for God. There is only one way for this to take place; it requires a Redeemer and the Spirit of life to be breathed back into man. It was first breathed into Adam before he sinned. Now it must be returned to man in the only exclusive way possible, through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.

    He declares Himself to be exclusive by declaring that no one comes to the Father except by Him. By nature of this single statement, Christianity is headed for the chopping block as Jesus restores His church, washing and purifying her in readiness for the Wedding Feast and to receive the most treasured invitation to the most non-religious Feast of history. Only those dressed in the proper wedding clothes will be allowed to come to the table.

  39. Nicole Oct 1st 2010

    All I can say, is I have said it all on the last thread before this.one. Especially the last several entries I made.

    I believe we are at a crossroads. There are thousands wounded and getting set free. I started crying as I read some of these entries. I always knew that there had to be more than I thought could possibly be leaving the church. And everytime I got rejected I knew hundreds if not thousands were just as bad off if not worse.

    I believe the Lord is linking us all up to purify us and share our stories and to help each other heal. Kinda like cleansing the lepardsy off of us. But HE IS DOING THE HEALING AND THE CLEANSING.

    Each of us have a testimony. Each of us have HIS LOVE AND STORY to share to those that don’t have an avenue to express themselves . Each of us have a heart, HIS HEART, to reach out to those that are coming out of the Harlot Church and the Emergent Church/ The New Age Church/ The Contemplative Prayer / the false prophetic and false apostlic ministries and the N A R and any other that is not of God. These are just a few. And many of you have experienced them. satan is claiming more territory and hitting on more people now than ever before.

    All I can say – once again, is WE ARE THE CRUCIFIED ONES and (becoming the crucified ones) and the Lord is leading the way as HE ALWAYS HAS for those that have a heart for HIM and a desire for HIS WAY and HIS WILL. Many of us are just walking in process of faithwalking not exactly knowing what to do next, but where HE HAS US, is in an intimate relationship w/ HIM , THE KING and LORD OF LORDS , THE HEALER and THE REDEEMER.
    May each of you continue your journey to the finish line and may HIS GLORY ALWAYS BE words spoken out of your mouth.!!

  40. NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES!
    Who is leading the church?

    This has always been a special verse for me, because of the middle part–I will underline it.

    John 14:25-27

    “All this I have spoken while still with you, but the Counselor, the Holy Spirit,
    whom the Father will send in My Name will teach you all things and will remind
    you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give
    you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled,
    and do not be afraid.”

    When we come to Christ we take off the old and put on the new. This is a forever process!!
    We are steeped in the world and how it works in our lives. This, because we live in the world
    is always part of our normal. But God calls us aliens in the world. So when we set up an agenda
    of how things are supposed to go in our lives, that agenda is tainted with the world’s influence.
    In these scriptures God promises to bring to remembrance all things he has taught us.
    And only by a deeper understanding of His ways can we truly understand the statement
    “I do not give to you as the world gives”. He is Sovereign!

    So in the mist of what I like to call, Hell here on earth :-),
    God is giving. He is giving as He gives!!!
    He is giving what we truly need!!!! His faithfulness, His love, His word, His Spirit, His peace.
    These are (what I call the one and onlies). In a world of upsidedowners we must hold tight to his
    promises!!! There are people that think a morning in church is his gift to us. They are buying into what the world says that He gives.

    Our Lord is giving; we need to be searching out and sharing His gift.

    Love from the One who loves us much,

    thechildthinker

    Post Script: sorry no underlines on this post page? I underlined-
    “I do not give as the world gives”.
    There are people that think a morning in church is his gift to us. They are buying into what the world says that He gives.

  41. The Lord has been giving information about a new church that will be put together by Him. The rest are Laodicean churches – this being the Day of the Laodicean Church. I would especially like to
    address Dorie from Calgary as I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I have the info about what is about to happen in the Church World. Ask
    for the booklet “Coming Very Soon” by email: [email protected].

    There is going to be a big change in churches. Most will be shut down as the new church begins with signs and wonders and miracles. Many will leave the dead churches and go where God is
    being worshipped in Spirit and Truth.

  42. Tom K Oct 1st 2010

    I have a hard time with church these days, too much immodest clothing, if someone wore what is worn by born again ladies 100 years ago they would be called prostitutes, God does not change, his teaching on modest apparel still stands for today, the world sets the fashions and people follow it. Another thing is my sensitivity to perfumes and cologne, way too much, it burns my eyes and makes my mouth hurt, the ladies have so much makeup on that I didn’t recognize them without it at another location. The world loves worldly people, if you are set apart you are considered a freak. We are Jesus freaks following after Him, where is the death to self these days, oh yeah there is that verse that says we are to enjoy all things, what things does the believer enjoy in prison for his faith or the 3rd world saint with nothing but rags and a mud hut, get convicted, pray for conviction, lets have revival from the inside out.
    Tom

  43. Larry Oct 1st 2010

    Jesus’s problems were with the leaders when he came on the Scene. Judgement is on the Leaders now and will ramp up rapid as he accends to stand on the mountain. The games will be over, forever know where you stand. If you are looking for a comfortable Building you are not traveling with Jesus. The only True Comfort comes from discomfort of the world and knowing there is only one true comforter to comfort you as you end your short stay here. Yes it is here, When one soul is saved the angels in heaven rejoice, this is the greatest miracle and until this is instilled into ones heart you are looking for the wrong signs, they will follow this desire if no one but you is allowed to see it, who knows, I know, He might let you have a peep and taste of the Third Heaven. The Lord can and will place you in dead church when there is hope for one more. But there is sadness when Jesus’s mind is made up and Jesus tells you that you are wasting your time and you are wasting your breath.
    Their Reward For Their Harm is on the way!!! The Fields are white outside with broken hearts, broken homes, No homes, These buildings that are called a place of worship have placed my people in this situation, I will comfort my people that were displaced for my namesake. My foreclosure is absolute Judgement , You have and will be thanking me more each day for not letting you bog down in those that have and are being marked for closure with Rapid Excelleration….

  44. This is the same thing my family and I are running into. We need to be with a body of belevers so lost we dont know where to turn except to the Lord. My heart is heavy because we want to learn about are Lord. Lord Bless

  45. Roger Souden Oct 1st 2010

    Andrew – Mrs Luther asked on the previous thread:
    “Is there any way, someone could front up from each nation and compose a list of contacts, for those who want to be on it, or those who want to be contacted.
    It doesn’t have to be those who are in our immediate vacinity, it could be someone from the States..”

    I understand your concerns with this, as are written elsewhere – but this is a way that those posting here who would like contact, can maybe start with ones and twos..?

    In Jesus Christ,
    Roger

  46. [As it has been said over the years about Elvis: "Elvis has left the building!"] So it is being said: “Jesus has left the building!”

    *May we truly come together, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom Himself will build His church; it is He who is the Head, and we His Body. May we pray for the coming together of all of us who seek after Him, and not after religioun, so that our Father’s will is done here on earth as it is in heaven; and that we all have ear’s to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying.

    There are some who have not experienced what many here on this message board have experienced about church practices; many have left because of the Lord has moved upon many to leave, to come and sit aside and to wait upon Him during this time in the wilderness, this coming together under His leading and His teaching because of our love for Him. Sure there are those who love Him within the buildings, but, are they willing to leave a practice for true living in the Spirit? To leave all to follow Him, who ministered out in the world, who preached out in the world; He did some preaching in some of the synagogues, but yet, He was the Light in this world which the world did not receive Him…nor those of the synagogue’s. Who has ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying?
    I pray that we can all come together in Christ, for He Is our Head; and we will!

  47. Perhaps it is time that we begin to seek and ask God about what has been and is happening to us at this time, for what we are to be doing and what we are to be praying, about His people coming together.
    For I have been seeing this all over the internet for 10 years now about many leaving the church services to find Him, to seek Him, to know Him more intimately, to leave religion behind for there is more…..more of Him! There was a book written by someone about this years ago, and he thought the same way that we were in the wrong about leaving church, but he came to find out that we were the ones who had a heart after God and were loving people who wanted more of Him and less of religion, who were following Christ! And that he was very shallow and religious, bound by religious rules.
    Even John the baptist left all, he left the priesthood ministry to be the forerunner of Christ. I’m sure the priests talked about John and His father! “How could John leave the priesthood?! It’s his religious duty!”
    How sad it is this day for what has come into His church, for even the world does not want it, they see the retailing out in the world; they want what is real and life and love and liberty which is found only in Christ Jesus!

  48. Nicole Oct 1st 2010

    Roger, —- Charles Newbold,Jr. is a prophetic writer. He has books that are free on line -e-books, kinda like Andrew does.

    I have read them all. You can contact him and he will send his books , all shipping free and no charge for the books. Only thing he reccomends is that you PRAY about reading his books. Many don’t receive them, because they are not ready to.

    The first time I read them, I had just left a very Jezebel church and I had anger and confusion and pain and hurting. I reread the book much later and found life in the book as I had been healed of the internal conflicts and junk that had been thrown at me. I understood the truth behind the book.

    It is called THE HARLOT CHURCH. His second book I read was THE CRUCIFIED ONES. It is written in prophetic knowledge/ words of the Lord. I grasped on to that and understood so very much of what I was experincing. I understood before my husband, for his gifting are in teaching and helping and decipling.

    The books I reccommend and hope that others will go before the Lord and ask if it is meant for them to read. If it is , it will bring freedom to much /many unanswered questions.

    In the mean time there is a whole new stream coming in deception and ministries that will pollute more and more the minds of those that are not trusting and clinging to the Lord and asking for HIS WISDOM and DISCERNMENT. He will give it. but it costs, it is time alone w/ HIM and tuning everything else out, EVERYTHING,, so you can hear the soft voice of the LORD – HIS HOLY SPIRIT. I am not talking about “emptying the mind” I am talking about just being yourself w/ the Lord and allowing HIM to minister to each of HIS CHILDREN.

    I have left my e-mail address and explaination on the last thread about communing w/ fellow christians by e-mail Most of us live in all parts of the world. I live in Texas. Rogers and MRS. LUTHER’S Idea is one that I pray will take hold and we come together just as children in CHRIST — HIS CHILDREN.

  49. ruth farley Oct 1st 2010

    here is a brother who has a list of some good churches, unfortunatley none in spokane wa. I also find the same problem with all of the places I have attempted to visit that you mention in your article. this man has teachings on his web-site, live recordings from some of the great spiritual Giants. stanley frodsham, the Godwins, bosworth, ect… He seems to teach a very biblical Gospel centered on Yeshua, the blood and the cross. perhaps if you live in one of these places you could check one of the churches out that are listed here.
    http://brothermel.com/greatchurches.aspx

  50. i would like to propose an idea. instead of complaining about the Church, why don’t each of us start a home fellowship and let the Holy Spirit fix the Church STARTING WITH US. We are the Church. I think its really easy to fall into the ditch of church-bashing. Yes there are lots of problems. instead of railing against the Church lets BURN IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH and let God use us to MAKE THEM JEALOUS for the KINGDOM OF GOD. Jesus is coming back and He is waiting on us.
    in the never failing, never ending, uncontainable love of Christ,
    Steven

  51. Douglas West Oct 1st 2010

    Churchianity V Christianity
    Jesus Declared: I will build My Church and it will be without spot or wrinkle.
    There are a number of levels of churchianity masquerading as Chritians; some Worship God, some worship the lord, some worship christ, but born again christians Worship Jesus of Nazareth, And do so in Spirit and in Truth.
    If a Born Agan Christian finds themself among churchianity they need fear not as Jesus calls His people to come out from among them that ye be not partakers of “her” sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Rev 18:4.
    The “her” mentioned in this verse is MYSTERY,BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Rev 17:5.
    Rome is the Whore, the Mother of Harlots and the Harlots are those other false churches which teach a gospel other than the GOSPEL taught by the likes of StPeter and St Paul. See Rom 2:16.
    Christians are taught by Faith in Jesus Christ to cast all their cares upon him. God bless all those of like precious faith. Doug.

  52. Jason Oct 1st 2010

    We have just left a church. There are so many things here that line up with what we are going through. I have been praying and seeking the Lord in all this. As head of my household I am responsible for my family as we all should know. We have begun a journey together through God’s word from start to finish as a family. The only way to spot a fake is to spend time with the real thing.

    I used to pray and fast for revival. I even asked the Lord to just do it somewhere, if not in my church then some other church. I asked God to really mess things up here if that’s what it takes.

    Then our pastor resigned and went on to something else. We were without a pastor for nearly 7 months. We even went through some false teachers and had a near split over it. We stuck it out and love one out.

    Then came this new pastor. The Lord showed me immediately that he had a lying spirit with him. God has given me this discernment thing.. but, i chose to ignore it and fleeced instead. My fleece was to see some new friends of mine get saved…. (God forgive me for judging their eternal status). The man preached a less than moving sermon, it was more about him than God, and it is still that way today. Nevertheless, the friends of mine said that they thought they had found what they were searching for all their lives and were coming back to the church. So I cast my vote as yes. For some people it was the way he answered questions, for others it was peer pressure. In the end the vote was unanimously in favor for this guy.

    We stayed on at the church for a few months. I even met one to one with him and told him I was troubled in my spirit about him. Well, eventually we left. I contacted about 25 others that had left to see about either trying to put this guy out or start a new church. Nothing seems to be moving forward and I can’t find rest in my soul in any churches right now. I have decided to go with the discernment thing which has never been wrong. (spooky?) I have ignored it but it’s never been wrong. So I pray and then try a church. Some Pastors are just too spooky. I too have been concerned for AOG which is where the Lord led me so many times.

    This thread is interesting, but I must say, I personally must prayerfully consider what is being said here. I can not say that all churches are bad. I feel in my spirit more along the lines of rebooting church in an old-school fashion. I also feel some agreement that the Lord is calling out His.

    But on a side note, I am not going to be so quick to run out into the desert to see a show either.

    Well if any of you are willing to pray for our situation. Please do. Thanks. – Jason

  53. I find these comments refreshing, affirming, and authentic. I wrote up my own pilgrimage when I visited a friend’s church and found a tract called “Why Should I Go To Church” … prompting me to write http://www.rogershermansociety.org/why_no_longer.htm
    Why I No Longer Attend Church.

    Here in America, the church speaks more eloquently against itself than anything I could say. But I have no bitterness, because I very much believe that the structure itself — being unBiblical and steeped in pagan forms — is the problem, and that it damages both the “clergy” and the “laity” (in quotes because neither is a Biblical word). Replacing organic, vibrant Christianity with organizational Churchianity hurts all who participate in it. And as many of us have discovered, church is a great place for lost people to hide.

  54. Sue Smith Oct 1st 2010

    Check out “Reimagining Church” by Frank Viola. Very eloquent expression of how God is gathering His Body together.

  55. Jason Oct 1st 2010

    @Randy Ailie Ok, I read the account about the Angels. I humbly ask, why do you suppose the Lord chose Angels vs. something like the tongue and interpretation. Now that I say that, I do recall a senior friend of mine who told me of Angelic visitation he had. His was similar, he had a hard time describing it and mentioned that there was definitely something that gives you a sense of “Don’t want to mess with this guy” about the angel. He told us that he had no permission to tell anyone about what was shown to him. This guy is the sweetest, gentlest, most not-wacky guy I know and he had this encounter.

    Now I must aslo say this. One time the Lord nudged me to trust him and give an interpretation of a message in tongues given in service. Perhaps, I should say one time I obeyed. Anyway, I only got the first three words, then after I said them the rest came just in the nick of time, as needed. I can tell you my spirit felt a grief like I have never felt before. This is what he said. “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and I have been waiting for you, but I will not tarry much longer. I am coming soon.” pretty short and too the point. When the words “…but I will not tarry much longer” came out I felt this huge overwhelming sadness. It was such that I could not bear it, I thought for sure this grief would do me in if the Lord were to stay with me much longer. It was as if the greif was somehow tied to the knowledge of Hell and the eternal separation. I wept uncontrollably for several minutes after the message. I just couldn’t shake it.

    Now, I am wondering… What about those still in the church? I must fast for them that their eyes will be opened. I say this because, at one time, the Lord felt so strongly about them as to deliver a message supernaturally. He still feels that way. Doesn’t He?

  56. What a muddle Satan has caused! I am saddened to hear of so much upset. The Lord says through Paul: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ,” 2Co.11’3.

    Here’s just one example (there are many more): Take the idea of Churchianity vs Christianity. Until recently I thought it was valid to contrast. But in fact neither are New Testment realities: false or true.

    Christianity is a sort: meaning Catholic, Seventh Day, Anglican, Baptist, etc. Or at best, perhaps, it can be seen as the number of those churches who are evangelical. Or it is seen as an overall force for good.

    But any contrast can only be with the Kingdom of God!! How many times do we hear Kingdom of God? Read the last verse of the Book of Acts.

    My wife and I have been at home on Sunday mornings for over two years because so much in churches is not Christ – the King of the Kingdom.

    I’m putting what I see as kingdom understandings on the web.

  57. As I read some of these experiences I feel a heavy heart with tears in my eyes for our Fathers chosen sons & daughters.The reason being my wife & I have recently moved on from the church we attended after 4 years & that experience left us sad & empty to say the least. I want to say {parable of the lost sheep} God will leave the 99 & pursue & search for the one who is lost, he loves you that much!!! Don’t you give up on God because he won’t give up on you. I have observed inchurch,out of church,home church,etc believers and come to realise none of us have it alltogether, but what I do know from experience is unless we spend time in the word & prayer daily we can never expect to have a close relationship with our glorious Father in Heaven. We had time away from fellowship and that hurt very much until a time when the Lord had made a way in the desert and lead us to a church we thought could never exist.{Through answered prayer} The most important thing I can say is dont stop searching & if leadership lacks LOVE,compassion,mercy,support of their own, move on until the Lord leads you to a church that does. I’ll remind SHEPHERDS to read EZEKIEL 34 & also say that its their place as leaders to equip & send out disciples to save that which is lost. I will go one more step & say if all leaders could be mentored by the Pastor at New Hope Brisbane they would then understand what The Kingdom of God really means.
    May God heal & lead you through relationship not religion.

  58. Roger Souden Oct 1st 2010

    Jason – Yes, He still feels that way, we are to keep praying His will for all, and not stop until He says. You will know when and how and who to pray for..
    In Jesus Christ,
    Roger

  59. Thank You for posting this. I haven’t left my church (yet) but haven’t attended since spring, and have been feeling alone because of the issues raised here.

    Here is a dream I had a month ago:

    I walk into the latter part of a church service, standing in the back row. There are many people and everyone is in a silhouette-form.
    The worship team is led by the pastor. They are in place, facing the congregation, also in silhouette-form.
    The message had been about the real (tangible) presence of God and an invitation was being given to repent over their not acknowledging it before.
    In the silence, a strong, beautiful presence of the Holy Spirit manifests.
    One man raises his hand in response, and in my heart I enthusiastically say “YES!!!!”
    Others join him by raising their hands and I’m excited!
    Sadly, it seems that the Lord’s presence takes everyone by surprise, including the pastor and worship team.
    Although I raise my right hand in support, I grow afraid of being seen by the worship team (of which I had once been part of). So I put my hand down, address my inner fear, then put it back up.
    (My fear was personal and due to an unspoken conflict of interest regarding real vs. playing church, prophetic vs. mainstream.)

    Through prayer, the Lord showed me that
    1) He chose to “move” in that service and that it was all on HIS initiation.
    2) It was worth it because someone discerned and responded to the reality of His presence.
    3) My job was done and I’m being released.

    There’s a remnant…

  60. TruthBeTold Oct 1st 2010

    I believe that God is setting His people free from everyone and everything that comes between Him and His people.

  61. In the UK it seems that God is more willing to use those Christians who are not too linked in to the church system, who are are on its peripherary. Although backslidden, or because it is backslidden, most churches, or their leaders, demand your time, loyalty and service and you cannot serve two masters, you cannot be truely serving Christ and submitting to Him with this other influence demanding your allegience too. Some call it “churchianity” and I believe this is one of the main reasons why many are not truely submitting to Christ or producing fruit but are instead trying to impresss man or seek possitions for themselves within organisiations which is not the same thing. Much like the pharasies who thought they were submitted to God by following certian parts of the law but would do nothing to help the poor etc.

  62. traveler Oct 1st 2010

    Personally I am all for the gathering together of the saints but at the same time I am a little weary of the denominational form of church. My observation is that the institutionalized church has ended up on a tread mill going no where. They seem to be in a continues loop.

    What should be happening is that the new converts get taught and built up in the church but as the gifts of the spirit start to flow through them they are still expected to grow further and go out and serve the Lord even if just in their own respective communities. As they gain experience and confidence they should often go out and do exploits as in using their gifts and talents for the service of the kingdom and the betterment of their communities.

    But this is not happening. The same old milk gets fed and there is no real spiritual growth. A situation gets reached where the lesson is that this is as far as you go so now lets repeat. Often a worldly form of entertainment is introduced to keep the attention all the while the flock that does not grow stagnates. And that is in the better churches!

    However there has been the emergence of a counterfeit form of Christianity that will use the gospels but teach from them a doctrine of worldly wisdom and Mammon that also points to a different Christ. The gifts and supernatural that operates in those counterfeit churches is the same spirit that operates in the other religions of the world such as Hinduism or Buddhism or Wicca or Paganism. It is the spirit of this world that uses Christian terminology and cloaks itself in religiosity but does not lead to salvation and those saints that get caught up in it are eventually beguiled of their reward.

    ———–

    2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
    2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

    ————-

    Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

    ———————

    What is currently happening and why people are leaving the denominated churches is that they are instinctively picking up that all is not right, Yes they hear all the right terminology which confuses them but the spirit of God in them is not witnessing to the spirit of this world in the churches so a form of emotional conflict occurs. Hence the flock is becoming unsettled and drawing away from the denominated churches no matter what new ideas they come up with to hold them.

    You can go into a lot more detail but in a nut shell this is what is happening!

  63. THE INTERFAITH:
    .
    It wont be long before we are all forced to leave the church system due to the introduction of Interfaith Laws which all churches will be forced to sign up to or close down. The true church will then be forced to go street level and fellowship at grassroots for real outside of these churchianity restrictions and false allegiences. I follow Paul or I follow Apollos is all we hear today, denominations or group alliegences instead of I follow CHRIST as taught in the bible.

  64. John B Oct 1st 2010

    Afraid I have been more-or-less “out of church” for decades. Occasionally I try to go somewhere but it is usually more orientated to a social aspect, looking at each other rather than looking to God, and my heart is not in it.
    I realise bits of it are good for me, too. I really should try harder. I don’t judge them. I have no harsh thoughts for them. I dislike to have any harsh thoughts at all and may the Lord Jesus speak to me where I do. And I am not a saint (as in popular usage), either. Thoughts against that which is holy are often crawling through my head. May the wisdom, love and mercy of the Lord Jesus be in control.
    I love God and want to be with Him throughout eternity. That is the only thing that makes sense.
    In “church” situations there is too much pain.
    It was good when I could even get some tele-evangelists on CNBC. At least one is a part of the way, and receive some wisdom based on the truth. (But sure, one has to be very selective about it all, but when has one not had to be?!)
    No doubt a substantial part of the problem is me, but hey, why can´t we all just be before God, and leave our egos out of it?

  65. I have pastored churches from Methodist to Pentecostal, so obviously I am not locked into any one denomination or group. I left one denomination because I felt God leading me a different direction. I left a church I was attending during a time I was not pastoring because they were not only getting wacky about manifestations, but they were getting legalistic, hung up on the OT law and observance of the OT feasts. God has now placed me in a position as an interim pastor of a denominational church that is congregational in structure. Within the denomination there are churches that range from liberal to charismatic. The one I am pastoring is more middle of the road with people from as far ranging backgrounds as Catholic to Pentecostal. The common ground is the solid belief in the scriptures, and in carrying out Christ’s commands. Our worship is blended, with neither enough hymns to please some, nor enough contemporary songs to please others. Yet there is a strong bond of fellowship that binds all together, and a common purpose to follow God’s leading. We have ministry to the homeless and poor with a meal site once a week and a clothing bank. We have people that walk the streets ministering to the homeless. We have a growing number of attendees from the local rescue mission. We are always looking for ways to “give a cup of cold water in His name”, and seeking more ways to live out our faith. This does not mean we are just a “social programs” church, but a solidly Bible-based church doing what God teaches us in His Word. We are far from perfect, and have many imperfect attendees, but we try to remain true to the Word and obey it. There are many churches out there that do not deserve to be called churches (they are Ishmael – what man has created on his own), but there are also many Bible believing/teaching churches who still believe that God has not changed and still does what He has always done. Many of these, like our church, are desperately praying for harvest workers to come alongside those who have labored faithfully for years and truly need others to help carry the burden. We are a small congregation in a big mission field and need people who are not just wanting to be ministered to and fulfilled, but who are willing to put their shoulder to the plow and be a part of a difficult ministry. Please do not take this as a criticism of those who feel God is calling them to leave a “false” church, but encourage them to keep looking for a place that God can use them, and in so doing, bless them. I never expected to minister in a church of this denomination, but God put me here and it has been some of the most fulfilling, yet heart rending ministry I have ever had. I pray God will send us more workers who are not as concerned about what they get out of church as they are about what they can put into it.

  66. Ken Arrand Oct 1st 2010

    I left the church “system” (small “c”) about 4 years ago after a painful experience with the pastor. I was leading a home group which was well attended and we were having regular thru the night prayer every Friday evenings. I felt led by the Lord to have one for the “church”. I asked the Pastor and elders and was given the OK. So I organised one for the whole church and asked the Lord what He wanted us to pray for. I received praise and worship, no requests. I asked for confirmation and had 2 people approach me to say I was to do Praise and Worship. So on the evening I announced we were to have praise and worship to the Lord. The Pastor strongly objected and said we must pray for the country. I said “No”. We are going God’s way and doing “His” will. The Pastor created problems eg going to the back of the hall and shouting out, “I can’t hear!”. So I quietly asked him to consider moving nearer to the front. Etc. It is what God can do through us that counts NOT what we can do for God! This caused me to eventually leave the “church” system.

    I let the Lord lead me and He did. That is another story!

    For David and Kevin – I saw that the seven Churches addressed in Revelation are ALL “city” Churches. For example, the Church of/in Ephesus/ Laodicea etc. This is not the name of a church sect/group/affiliation etc. To me it speaks of the “Church” (capital C – the ekklessia) in that city. That is who the letter is addressed to.

    When asked “Where do I fellowship?” I answer “The Church of Harare” (being the city in Zimbabwe where I live!). To me this is more scriptural.

    If John were to write a letter to “The Church of ______ (put in the name of your city) where would the letter go??? Why?

  67. Elsje Massyn Oct 1st 2010

    I am “happy” to report that I left the church many, many years ago, as I found that wherever I went, whether charismatic or else, I was continuously blocked in my growth. I needed inner healing and went to two sound ladies that helped me work through my emotional issues, like forgiving my father for things that happened in my childhood – I cried my eyes out and felt 10 times lighter and nearer to my Savior, after forgiving my father. The next Sunday, my friend who took me to the counsellors and I were reprimanded by the pastor for going for inner healing, as the pastor did not think it was necessary, as he didnt believe in innerhealing. I am here talking about a Charismatic pastor. I found that everywhere I went (and I’m talking about well-known denominations) – their growth went as far as the church programme and head-pastor allowed. I tried very hard to fit in but then realized one day that maybe I wasnt meant to fit in but rather to stand out, so I got out!! It was the best decision I ever made. I got wonderful videos and tapes and books from strong & reliable preachers who ACTUALLY BELIEVE in the FULL five fold ministry (INCLUDING DELIVERANCE FROM DEMONS AND INNER HEALING) and writers like Derek Prince, Kanaan Ministries, Dr Rebecca Brown. Trumpet Call Ministries, OASIS Ministries in South Africa. I took (and still take) courses and attend seminars, and the Father added family and friends, who also started getting out and into the WORD and I must say I grew faster outside of the church than inside the church. I felt like I was a bullet shot out of a gun, things happened so fast. It hasnt stopped. I met my husband and together a few years later, and with the knowledge we are gaining we are able to help so many people who are destitute and feel condemned because they dont know where to go, and dont know where to find information (which is not available in the Church.) that can set them free – We even found a wonderful book on research (study) about tithes which is available on Internet called: “Eating Sacred Cows” – now we are free to give to anyone WHO IS IN NEED (exact amount doesnt apply, i.e. 10% of our income) – and the Father has blessed us financially, better than ever, because now we give, as the need arises around us. We dont give to the FAT CHURCHES, with their glitter, gold & marble – but we give TO THE BODY OF CHRIST – which is the TRUE church. Afterall, the body of Jesus is not a building, but made up of LIVING STONES – which is US, made of flesh and blood. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit LOVES TRUTH, as HE is the SPIRIT OF TRUTH – and if we seek the TRUTH, it will set us free!!

  68. innperlenburg Oct 1st 2010

    Yesterday the Lord spoke the following to my spirit: ‘those who obey, will walk alone.’

    We have to pay the price. Suffering for Him means to walk alone, rejected and misunderstood by even those who were our closest friends. But there’s joy after the Cross. And the suffering with and for Him brings the sweetest fellowship with Jesus imaginable.

    We came out of our old organised church 5 years ago accused of arrogance, rebellion, being dangerous church-splitters. We left because our questions and concerns about compromise, and leadership not obeying the word of God, whether written or spoken, went ignored. We still live in an appartment under that belonging to the pastor of this group, and have to cope daily with the sadness of having lost relationship with those whom we once thought were our closest friends, but who have told us that they never saw us in that way.

    Praise the Lord, He meant it for good. He has brought us into contact with a small number of people who are passionate about Him. We prayed for a long time that He would bring us together with those He wanted us with, and He’s doing it. Three people have come to know the Lord in the last year and are meeting up with us. We pray that He will keep us focussed on Him and not on the group.

    Bless you.

  69. warrior_poet Oct 1st 2010

    I, too, have been struggling with church attendance. The more I have sought God and been stirred with His spiritual gifts, the more I have had to “watch my back” in church. They allow a little moving in the Spirit at Sunday Night Believers’ Meeting, but that is only with much of what transpires scrutinized closely. I have been encouraged to speak up, but it is draining to constantly be on the hotplate. In addition, several have approached me later to state they were blessed by a word I had given and where in the Bible was the verse I had spoken. When I explain that it was the spontaneous moving of the Spirit, they don’t understand. Also women are told to stay in their place, and there is no room for them in any work where a man isn’t present….Okay, but would they promote my becoming a missionary overseas who would possibly die for her faith alone and in a hostile environment? Also they have no problem with my initiative in evangelizing on a local college campus, though none of the congregation is much interested (unless they get their name in the paper). I am tired of all this juggling and have abstained from church due to this stress. At least by walking one-on-one, I can follow or not follow my conscience. Let the church wake up! Don’t say you are full-gospel when you really are a sheep of another flock. FYI – this church is one of maybe 15 that I visited locally in the past and it is no different anywhere else. Where is the real church? Stand up and be counted! It probably is not in a building (my fav person is a Walmart greeter and we hug and share when we meet at the store. She is of another culture, but she is hot with the Lord!). So I will continue to walk on the fringe and go to church as the Spirit moves until something changes.

  70. to Ken Arrand – Your last question is excellent.

  71. innperlenburg Oct 1st 2010

    Randy Ailie – please could you provide a link to the Parousia Network where the account of this visitation may be found? I’ve found the website, but there’s so much material there that it would take me ages to go through it all.
    Your post really spoke to me. Thanks.

    Ken Arrand – that was definitely a great last question.

  72. I have been out of the churches for around 8yrs. Am in the process of having prayer meetings at our home, and a homeschool familys worship meetings. All other peoples are welcome, of course!! On the contrary, I don’t go around just having fun visiting people!! Although I do love people. I do go and visit the unregenerate soul dying, the sick. Street witness. When people need deliverance i go and lay hands on them and pray. Baptism gets done in our pool. In the churches this job is left to the pastor. Jesus says that we are all brothers, it’s not….. ones a teacher and the other is not.

    I was told by a leader in a church one time that I was to leave witnessing at the old folks home to the church leaders and that it was necessary to start at the bottom rung of the ladder, cleaning the toilets. After which she began a “ministry” to the old folks home within a month of her statement.

    God has no corporate ladders that we need to climb. We all need to pull up our sleeves and put our hand to the plow. Not to further a man’s kingdom, but for Christ’s sake because we love Him.

    Why do I need a gold badge to say that I have a church position? I loved people and was always busy looking after the downtrodden, those that smelled bad, those that looked lonely and forsaken. And all without a badge. Did I get accolades from people for doing this? NO!! To get mans reward means that we won’t get God’s reward. Praise God for His rewards. :)

    love,
    Sarah

  73. innperlenburg Oct 1st 2010

    Love what you wrote, Sarah.

  74. jmb4home Oct 1st 2010

    The Lord said that in the last days, he would shake everything that could be shaken. He also said that judgment would begin in the house of God. It is no mystery why self-serving and self-promoting, flesh catering mega-churches are finding their leaders embroiled in much controversy and exposed in sin. We left the mainline church after over 35 years of faithful attendance to seek out those who wanted to be a part of the real new testament experience – the real relationship with Jesus Christ – repentent, and humble followers of this Son of God who became flesh and dwelt among us. I think Leonard Ravenhill said it best when he described a man who wanted to fish. He said that this man would go out and get the best fishing pole and reel and line and bait possible. But then where would he go? Our churches said Rev. Ravenhill have become like this fisherman, but fishing in the bathtub. Then when we catch no fish, we must make up pretend scenarios that we’re really fishing successfully. I think this is where all of the self serving and “how does this make ME feel” kind of religion comes from. Since the church (not all – but at large) does little fishing, there is very little new life entering it, so it must find other things and other ways to occupy itself. Enter . . . . ficticious and wierd manifestations. As a pentecostal / charimatic believer, it became too much even for us. We have soooooo many programs, but few of them are actually doing what Jesus said to do. And without doing that – without being witnesses, there is no need for the “power”. We have finally found a group of sold out believers – so in love with and willing to follow the Lord. We begin our meetings at about 1 PM on Saturday. We sing, we dance (Davidic), we worship – for an hour or so. Then we eat (everyone brings food). Then we clear the tables and really eat (we open our bibles). We begin a line by line, verse by verse, in depth study of the Bread of Life (usually for 3 to 4 hours). Then fellowship some more, and then we pray and worship some more. Some time around midnight, the people begin leaving. This is very late I realize, but no one wants to leave. God’s presense just seems to hover among us so that we don’t want to breath and certainly don’t want get up and leave. Our group of unchurched is now being asked by other churches to come and minister to them. Large churches are asking if they can come “alongside us” so we can teach them what we have learned and what makes us so different. God is just amazing. When we left the mainline church, we were home group leaders of two groups within the church. We carefully planned our exit for over a year, slowly passing back the responsibilities we held within the church. Yet even still, we were ostrasized and basically written of as apostate because we could no longer just “warm a pew” and listen to milk toast sermons. And the programs didn’t feed our souls. When we left, many of the people who had been a part of our home groups asked if they could still come to our home for the new group studies we had become a part of. We were careful not to proselyze, and asked each of those members to please wait at least six months, and then if they wanted to come, call again. We didn’t want to add fuel to the fire of pastors already growing fear of wolves among the sheep – stealing “their” flock. We have been gone for well over 6 months now, and finally the people have begged that pastor for home groups again (it stopped when we left). He has agreed, and has his assistant leading the new groups. But the two homes where they meet, he has given explicit instructions not to invite anyone there that “used to go to that church” (i.e.: US). We know this because we have remain great friends with several of the hungry followers of Jesus who go there. We left on good terms, but have found that anyone who leaves is considered lost or apostate (even if you did everything right and left on good terms), I was even told that there “was no other church” but that one (by the pastor’s wife). Sad. But we are in a much better place now. Our small fellowship is feeding the hungry, clothing poor children, going to other churches, and in general feeling so wonderful as we do what we see in God’s word to do. Are we “earning” our salvation? Absolutely not – that can’t be done – it is the free gift of God. But we are finding such fulfillment outside of the mainline church. We continue to pray for the church in America – that Jesus won’t be completely lost to it. When we finally meet our Savior face to face, and we expect Him to say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, how can we expect those words if we haven’t “done” anything? We must be about our Father’s business – we must have the same mind in us that was also in Christ Jesus. Even if that means finding a small group of like minded, sold out followers of the Lord, and leaving the mainline church. No one wants to leave. But they are – by the thousands. There now may be more “unchurched” believers than “churched”. This should not be so, but then the church should be about His business and not it’s own self serving business. Throughout scripture God talks about the poor, the needy, the hungry, the widows, and orphans. How many of our church programs involve taking care of those? Lord, when did we see you hungry . . . . ? When you have done it unto the least of these “my brethren” you have done it unto me. May God richly bless you as you seek to do His will for your life.

  75. traveler Oct 1st 2010

    Ken Arrand, I notice you are from Harare. Me too, moved to Canada in 97. Nice to see you on the boards.

  76. There is a huge difference from being out of church and out of fellowship. Remember we are the church so you can’t leave something that you are. May not have the fellowship like we would want, but I believe God will provide.

  77. Greetings from Switzerland.

    We have been out of church for about seven years.
    After suffering spiritual abuse, we decided to wait till God gives us new directions. He did last year, and we started with an organic church in our house.

    It is not easy all the time, because the structure from the common churches is still sneeking in, but God is faithful and we are looking forward to walk his way – and this is mostly not the way, the churches go.

    For all who are still seeking, I can recommend the books “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” from Wayne Jacobsen and “Organic Church” from Neil Cole.

    It is important to change the thinking, else we will find us having a smallgroup, homechurch or how ever you name it, but organized, abusive, money centered and complicated like a common church.

    Blessings to all the God-Seekers out there!

  78. A good thread with a wide variety of experiences. But lots of confusion as well.

    First, clearly some have been hurt and are wounded as noted by their comments regarding leaders and church authority. Leaving a church is certainly a God-led option, after you have taken care of offense. It’s important to leave a church from the front door or reconciliation, not the back door of offense.

    Second, the ‘new age’ church model is simply a reflection of the people who are immersed in our 21st century western culture. The Harvard Business School model of ‘Purpose Driven’ and other market driven business techniques are not reflected in scripture. Once a church becomes sold out to these things, it may be time to leave. But what about those left behind? Jesus never left Judaism even though the Pharisees had corrupted it under the influence of the ‘Roman/Greek’ way. Build a Church within a church, like Thyatira. Don’t let them kick you out. *S

    Third, the issue of isolation and wilderness is real. The Greek Orthodox call these people ‘Hermits’, devoted to prayer and Jesus. However, prayer and wilderness are ‘closet’ issues, not to be spoken about. This calling is personal and secret. If we keep it secret, God will reward us openly. We all need to ‘assemble’ with someone else and we must have a ‘supervisor’ to keep us in balance. If you feel the Bishop/Supervisor is corrupt, ‘pray him/her out of there’, if you have any influence with God that is. You will be surprised what God can do.

    Use wisdom. Recognize that isolation, offense, and culture have all happened before inside the Church. Remain faithful and let other fish collect around your ‘balanced’ spirit of love of the truth. You don’t have to push people with criticism, but lead by the example of faithfulness. Be God’s insider, even as Jesus was the insider trying to reform Judaism with his love and power.

    Intercede and stand in the gap. Criticism and self justification are two sides of the same coin called ‘kreenos’ (Judgementalism). When we repent for someone else’s sins, using the collective ‘we’, we have left kreenos behind. True intercession is a secret closet of love, giving oneself to bridge the justice of God with the compassion of God.

    No offense intended. *S (www.endtimesurvivalguide.com)
    LW

  79. I read a lot of the comments posted here.
    But what about the little churchgroups who want to speak the truth and do what the Lord wants them to do?
    It looks like people dont want to commit anymore? Imean for us to fellowship? Is it just because they are hurt by the church?? But the little groups want realy a fellowship, but if the people are not comming? So its not just the groups dont want it, we as a group long for it, fellowship i mean, but where are the truth seekers? So we can obey together the Lord in truth and Spirit?
    We also had to repent and go to the foundation of Gods word.
    So this is just something i thought about.

  80. I listened to a message recentely by Charles Price (senior pastor of The People’s Church, Toronto, Canada), where he surmised from Acts 1:1 that the work which Christ began to do in His earthly ministry He now continues to do by the Holy Spirit through His Church.
    One of his main premises was that the Book of Acts is not a blueprint for how the Church is to be run, but rather a record of what Christ did through His Church by the Holy Spirit and how His Church struggled and dealt with various issues which arose.
    I wonder, do we look at the church of today as an organization, an institution, a business, or a movement?
    Is the modern church an extension of an active Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit – or modern Pharisees trying to do the best they can with how they use the Scriptures (or the principles they find in other books) for their own purposes?
    I wonder if what I’m reading in this forum in the last number of months isn’t the Holy Spirit trying to direct Christ’s born-by-the-Spirit people into what He’s wanting to do through us?
    Could what He’s wanting to do be taking Christ’s people and using them to be Christ to those around them – missionaries in their neighbourhoods, workplaces and marketplaces to those who are lost and dying – using the power of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick, provide for the needy, and ministering Christ and His Gospel in ways which the Spirit directs?
    Should we, who are truly Christ’s, be focussing on the hypocrites, modern Pharisees, and those who have rejected the truth of the Gospel (much of today’s modern churches) – or should be taking our focus off those who consider themselves “whole” and ministering to those who know they are “sick” as Christ did?
    As we weep over what we see Christ wants and what used to be and what now is, could it be that the Holy Spirit is wanting us to move on to something new? As we seek for His direction, could it be that this is part of His process – that He’s preparing us for a new rising up of the true Church to be a force which turns the organized Church and the world upside down (or right side up depending on your view)?
    I’m not sure I have the right answer to all these questions, but maybe the questions are where we need to begin.

    Your servant in Christ,
    Pastor Wayne

  81. Lizzie Oct 1st 2010

    Dorie said – “Christians here seem
    so focused on their careers, and houses, and cars, and vacations
    and I feel like a stinkin’ hippie around them because I can’t live for
    those things!!”

    I think Dorie is so right. I found myself thinking recently “Are the lives of Christians any different to the lives of non-Christians? Do we stand out as being any different?” And I think a lot of the time we are no different to those who do not believe. Our priorities are no different. The decisions we have to make in life regarding jobs, where we do our shopping, whether we have a car or not, or what sort of car, or where we go on holiday, or how many holidays a year we have, or whether we borrow money (is it OK to borrow money???) to buy that car that we think we really cannot live without, etc. etc. – how much difference is there between Christians and non- Christians in these matters? It seems to me that many Christians live exactly the same sort of lives that non-Christians live. And I also agree with the earlier comment from Tom about the immodest clothing that a lot of Christians wear. I couldn’t believe it some years ago when the teenage daughter of one of our leaders walked into church in a very short skirt showing an awful lot of bare leg.

    My own situation is that I have been a Christian for 35 years. I left the church my husband and I had attended for 21 years 8 years ago. In all those 35 years I have met very few Christians whose lives are visibly any different, and who have trusted in God to provide for them if they put the Kingdom of God first. No, it is usually the other way round – we trust in ourselves first and put the Kingdom second. The way we think about jobs, cars, clothing etc. is often no different to the way the world thinks.

  82. Matthew 18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Luke 11:23
    He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

  83. gale880 Oct 1st 2010

    I stopped attending regularly about 1993. The experience I had at the church I belonged to for about 3 years was just bleek to me.

    The people seemed to worship the Bishop and his wife, honoring the two frequently. I absolutely cannot esteem church leadership above God — to me that is an abomination — I despise it for lack of a better/stronger word. The people were also very cold, and gossiping about others was like a malevolent virus that infected the place. I even had dreams about mocking spirits that were drawn on the walls.

    There was also a “touch not mine annointed” spirit there and at other churches I had visited — the pastor, bishop, wife, their children, their pets, (sarcasm) etc.

    The other thing I found is the hammering in on submitting to leadership as if God had not given you a brain and the Holy Spirit for guidance and discernment.

    I grew tired of the reading of the programs, the talking, etc. to the point that I only wish to hear the unvarnished truth of the gospel and nothing more — I just want to hear the rightly divided word of God — I want to soak it up like a river or sop it up like a biscuit with gravy!!!

    Did I mention that the people are cold, cold, cold? I often feel like the odd woman on the outside — I’m not quite on the same page — it can be very lonely. Jealousy really does have a spirit of death in it — a lot of Christians have that problem — jealousy over what they think you may have that they don’t or want.

    I think that for many people church is a place to hide from the world and the unpleasant things in it. And also it is a place where they believe they can get the respect and acknowledgement that they don’t get in the real world. It’s almost like a corporate business where people jockey for positions not caring who they push out of the way.

    In a way I am glad that I haven’t attended because in just talking to other Christians or reading things on the internet, I find that a door to demons must have been opened in many churches. There is grave error in many.

    I’m not necessarily waiting for God to bring revival. Rather, I’m waiting for Him to do a complete reorganization.

  84. nicknack1 Oct 1st 2010

    The problem with Christianity today is that with all the different denominations/ everyone becomes the head of their own church. That isn’t the way it should be. Jesus founded one Church with authority (he promised to guide his Church & leave us a sheppard). I left my non-denominational Church for many of the same reasons I have read others complaining about. I have been happy, at home, completely feed by truth in the Catholic Church for 16 yrs. now. There would be no Bible without the authority of the Catholic Church & every doctrine is biblical. The Bible Alone Christians sometimes never consider where we got the Bible. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a home for saints, and everyone is welcome.

  85. annunk Oct 1st 2010

    My husband and I have been believers for 30+ years and for basically the same reasons as everyone else, had started looking for another church… But, long-story-short, I was “mentioning it to the Lord” one morning and I really got a check in my spirit. I felt like the Holy Spirit was asking me, “Have you even prayed about this?” And I thought I had, but I said another quick prayer
    nonetheless.

    Next day, Sunday a.m., we went to church like always and like always… it was about the same as before. But after the main service, we attended a different Sunday school than usual and it was run by a retired pastor 86 years old… I’m telling you, I felt like a brand-spanking-new believer all over again after sitting thru his teaching. Class was supposed to last an hour and at first, I
    was mad because I thought they’d cut him short. Nope. He’d spoken an hour and it felt like 10 minutes. My husband and I were talking about the lesson this man gave for the remainder of the day and we were both in a hurry to go back to the night service so we could get good seats up front in his class.

    Then the Lord reminded me that I hadn’t prayed about it before. “I had not because I asked not…” God may not answer every prayer the same way, but He does answer every prayer if we’ll take the time to ask.

  86. Too much ‘fluff’ and not enough substance. Too much banging away of false doctrine while ignoring all parts of scripture that disagrees with their teaching. Too much ‘show’ and not enough Spirit. Too much ‘soothing’ and not enough cleansing. Too much ‘come as you are’ and not enough commitment. Too much ‘all is well’ yet having no ‘watchman on the wall’ sounding alarms. Too many pastoring as a paid job instead of pastoring as a passionate calling. Music that is too much noise and not enough worship. Congregations that are glad to see you in church but keep would-be friendships at a distance. I could go on and on but, well, you get the point…

  87. artcrocker Oct 1st 2010

    Rev. 2:1 ¶ Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
    2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
    3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
    4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
    5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    I’m 57 years old and have been in church all my life. I was raised in the Baptist church, walking the isle numerous times. I was truly born again in 1978 and have experienced and seen many things since. I left the Baptist church seeking the truth of God’s word being demonstrated and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost around 1981. I’ve been a minister of music in baptist churches, I’ve been a worship leader in full gospel churches and began pastoring
    ( as well as leading worship ) in 1998. I’ve been through various “movements” and seen signs and wonders, but have witnessed impure religion the whole time. The Word says that pure religion and undefiled is this that you visit the widow and orphan in their affliction.
    Revelation said to the church at Ephesus that they had left their first love. I see that in most of the church today.
    The Lord began to reveal this to me after hurricane katrina. I live in south mississippi. I went to work with a local recovery organization where I saw throughout the area so many people needing help who were a part of a local church, but the church gave them no assistance. All the assistance seemed to be coming from volunteer groups from other parts of the country. Thank God for them, but what about the local church.
    One of my first damage assessments was for an elderly woman living in a mobile home which was twisted, leaking, moldy and damaged sewage lines. FEMA had even refused her a trailer. As I talked with her, I discovered that she had been in a particular church all of her life, helping others along the way, yet no one had ever helped her or even offered. As she cried telling me this story, she said we were the first peoplt to ever offer her any help. We were able to get her a temporary unit from fema and received grant funds to get her a new mobile home.
    I worked with this group for 4 years and witnessed this scenario over and again.
    There seems to be more concern about programs and buildings and great “meetings” than “DOING THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY”.
    If you are out of church and frustrated, don’t get caught up in heaping to yourselves teachers having itching ears, just get out and display the fruit of the Spirit and preaching the gospel wherever you go, and let the Holy Spirit lead you to a gathering that He has chosen for you.
    It’s OK to have a very small group, discussing the Word and praying together. We need accountability, and that comes through relationship with other believers seeking the truth of God’s Word, but we can’t get stuck in a rut of just meeting together and not doing and being what he tells us to do in the Word.
    Each one of us has been given a geographical location to be in for us to be a witness and demonstration of Gods love and power.
    I apologize for being so Wordy, but this topic has been on my heart for a number of years.
    Too many times people don’t do anything because they have a fear of not “saying” the right words.
    A couple of weeks ago my wife and I was traveling up the interstate to my sons house to help him, and a man and woman crossed the interstate ahead of us. We passed them and noticed a vehicle on the side of the road. We were urged by the Spirit to stop. As I was backing up, I saw the thanks and elation on their faces that some one had stopped for them. It was in the upper 90′s. They had run out of gas. They said they had plenty of money, just din’t notice the gas gauge. We took them to a station and returned them to their vehicle. Every religious bone in my body wanted to “witness” to them as so many have been taught, but was restrained by the Spirit. Perhaps my actions were just a time of watering. It’s God who gives the increase.
    Bottom line is if we will be an example of Jesus wherever we are and allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow and be displayed in our lives, then God will bring us into relationship and fellowship with others.
    Just Be.
    God Bless you all
    Art

  88. Dear Andrew

    My husband and myself are outofchurchees – we have been following the Lord for about 20 years – we have found so much hypocrisy it is unbelievable – the sin at leadership level is totally disheartening and alarming – we have yet to meet a Godly pastor or leader and a lot of them are feathering their nests at the expense of the flock – Nepotisn is rife as they promote their family and friends and ignore the “gifts” God has given them within the flock – they guard their positions jealously and when people leave they say “oh they don`t love us anymore” or “it is not of the Lord” – they say you should have been prayed out by leadership – but I don`t believe that their “blessing” would be genuine unless you were “say moving 50 miles away”! I also know that some pastors direct their flock to “cut people out of their lives” for leaving their church – we have had it done to us and verified by members of the flock! The hurt we have suffered has been immense – but the Lord heals! All Praise and Glory to Him

  89. “Out of Church”? What does that mean and more importantly, is it a Biblical expression or identity? My position is, most of the comments express what ‘isn’t’ happening in the ‘Churchs’ they left. Is it happening now with you since you left the ‘Church’. If you are not assembling with other believers with the expression of Five-fold (I don’t like the term) leadership, you are in direct violation of Scripture! An excuse instead of a valid reason, is nothing but another form of rebellion. To say there is NO True Church in a area is to say that Yahweh (GOD) has no People in that area!

  90. Each of us commenting here have been hurt within the institution of church. So was Christ. We’re in good company.
    We all know the scripture “Be ye angry and sin not.”
    and I speak to myself here as well:
    We must be careful not to allow any bitterness or resentment to have a place in our heart.
    If we haven’t done so already, we must forgive those who have trespassed against us…for Jesus says that if we don’t forgive their trespasses, neither will God forgive ours.

    Since He is not willing that any should perish, we might consider that the Lord could use us to reach out to the hirelings.
    I wrote earlier that my (present) job was done; perhaps not.
    When I consider reaching out again to my present leadership, I struggle with how to get beyond prior rejection. (Striving to be model Christians, the imperfection on display in my life was a card they’d play to reject the message and justify themselves.)
    At present, I’m quiet and waiting.

    Mike spoke this well:
    “There is a huge difference from being out of church and out of fellowship. Remember we are the church so you can’t leave something that you are. May not have the fellowship like we would want, but I believe God will provide.”

  91. Terry Aima Oct 2nd 2010

    David:
    Nobody who leaves the church building is leaving church. They’re finding and joining the true church. So often, church buildings house anything but the true church. I haven’t darked the doors of a church building in many, many years. I left before they could choke the word out of me. Now I’m in a home group and have grown more in the Lord in just three short years than I ever did in ten years of going to a building.

  92. Let’s take what we know and apply it.
    1) we know the spirit realm is not bound by the physical.
    2) we know the churches in Revelation were addressed by location, not denomination
    3) all of us here reveal a foundation of “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”.

    Could it be considered that we are “gathered” right here, right now…in spirit, which is what counts?

    What if we continued to “gather together” via online and learn from one another?

    Could God use that kind of fruit to reach the hirelings before it’s too late?

  93. May I add a small comment written to a friend in 2003?

    “About what is happening with church. I am coming to the conclusion that Yahweh is doing something very peculiar in the midst of our uneasiness. He is the one who is stirring us up over the state of our priorities. He is the one who is causing a frustration (to put it mildly) over our church subcultures. It is a holy dissatisfaction given by our holy master. I am fully aware that I am not the center of this. It is God, it is definitely God. To coin a phrase from a letter written to the trust that employs me – “When riding a dead horse, it is usually best to dismount”. If your mount isn’t moving – check it, it might be dead.

    The Spirit of Christ has moved from the church (as we know it) and we would be wise to see what is going on and to move with him. Exactly what that means, is going to be different in each circumstance. It is going to be a frightening time for those who look to structures for their ‘identity’ in Christ. But I believe it is necessary and that it will be a natural thing for those who really are his children, or (to shift the metaphor) are truly sheep and listen to the voice of the shepherd.

    Our pasture fields have been overgrazed, they have changed, we have eaten up the paddock that our current church structures are in, and the farmer of our souls has opened up the gate to a new paddock, one with untouched green grass. He is calling us to come and feed on this, his new provision. I feel like I do not have to feel guilty about this. It is not a reactionary attitude of rebellion. In humility I believe it truly is the Spirit of Christ. My eyes have finally been opened to see this for what it is. I have a sense that this is happening right across the body of Christ, it is the same holy dissatisfaction. I also sense that some of those being touched by the hunger for Christ are grimly chewing on at the man-made roots of barren grass stubble because of a sense of undying loyalty to the paddock itself, this is in spite of the fact that the gate to a green paddock lies open before them. The holy farmer will soon send out his dogs to ‘hound’ them until they obey his voice and move into his provision.

    The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want,
    He makes me lie in green pasture,
    He leads me beside quiet waters
    He restores my soul

    Now to get on with it, and to move in obedience, that is the challenge!

    The Spirit has spoken to me in the past about a new work that he has for our generation and also for the one that will follow us. For me he has directed us to be involved with restoring the “father to the sons and the sons to the fathers”. He has told me to work with the lepers in our society because they will be the ones who have given up hope and therefore are open to receive the first outpouring of his Spirit.”

    Just carrying on from some of my earlier above thoughts, my encouragement to anyone in Christ who is seeking to more perfectly follow our Lord in this area (of so-called in or out of church decisions) is to take time to listen to his voice. To not make reactionary decisions but to search for His ‘peace’. To wait on His leading so that His peace will lead us.

    There are different seasons in all our lives that the Lord takes us through, which often require different responses on our behalf. Egypt is different from the desert, which is different from Canaan. The only thing that remains stable in all these quite different seasonal positions, is our Lord. We all have a great need to keep our eyes focused on the Son. For it is he who individually and corporately leads us and goes before us.

    I have the feeling that we all are being weaned off old ‘paradigms’ of what we perceive the body of Christ to be. Christ’s body is not a building. I also believe it is not even the people in the building. It is actually a spiritually dynamic relationship between our Lord and his corporate people that is normally set (but not exclusively set) by geographically located boundaries. I see Christ many times in other believers – praise God. Sometimes I see him in pre-Christians too – praise God. The important thing is that I am searching for my Lord everywhere around me, and throwing out seed continuously that is growing the Fathers kingdom. That seed is falling on all sorts of places, good and bad soils. I don’t care where that soil is placed in church or out of it, my only care is that my Master has opportunity for his kingdom to grow. I have to say of recent times mostly my Masters kingdom seems to be growing in the community where I work rather than in ‘church’ walls.

    From Gods vantage the world is made up of those who serve His Son and those who don’t. What we are seeing at the moment in 2010 is a shaking up of those who serve Him versus those who serve a ‘form’ of Him.

    Amongst the churches that I serve in occasionally, I am aware that God has his servants, and I am also aware that there is much there that will disqualify others on judgment day. It certainly isn’t up to me to judge them, although as I am led, I do warn some.

    I know that there is going to be a time when Christ will call his bride to separate herself away from the harlot at the very end. I am expecting that. But in this process of calling out, it seems plain to me that each believer needs to remain focused upon our Saviors instructions. There is not going to be one answer to thousands of superficially similar situations. For that reason I don’t have an opinion (although God does) on many circumstances expressed here in this chat room, because sometimes our seasons are different and we all need to be obedient to our Lord as he determines within each particular season of life.

    Our focus instead should be on our all powerful, all knowing, always present Lord. He is our good Shepard he is our leader. We are just simple sheep. (K.I.S.S.). If we keep everything simple – it just makes day to day living so much easier.

  94. Francisco Oct 2nd 2010

    Why are Christians leaving the physical structures where they congregate, and why aren’t unbelievers interested in attending worship services? Check out one of the reasons involving the prominent pastor of a 25,000 member church in Atlanta, GA who’s name is Bishop Eddie Long:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20017430-504083.html

  95. Blanche Oct 2nd 2010

    Andrew,

    I left the organized church approximately 9 years ago and my husband left 2 months after I did. The church we belonged to is pastored by my brother-in-law and sister and it was a very difficult step to make. I love them very much, but couldn’t participate in an environment that was established and just wasn’t of the Lord any longer.

    We belonged to this church for 17 years and were very much a part of the leadership. My husband was on the music team and I had helped out with the children and the music. I would say that probably a couple of years after joining this church, we both started to question some of the things that occured there. We were very young as far as being mature in the Lord. We both chalked it up as just not being very mature. So we continued on. As the years continued it only got worse. People flopping around on the floor, screaming out loud, the Pastor telling us that Church is spelled W*O*R*K, and complaining at us constantly that we should be down there every night working on the building(never mind the people that had to get up at 5 in the morning to work), browbeating the music team in front of the congregation. Everything in that church turned towards building a beautiful building (which wasn’t owned) so that people would start coming to their church. To this day, this church is still the same size of congregation. We rarely ever saw anyone come to the Lord there.

    I could go on and on about the things that occured, but it is definitely a thing of the past and to be let go of. I can say that leaving this church was the best thing I did for myself. My relationship with Jesus blossomed and I got to know my Lord!
    I sometimes miss worshiping together, but I will put on a great worship CD and worship on my own. I do have a great friend who lives in another state that will get on the phone with me and pray together. We have done that many times. To this day I haven’t found another church that I would attend. I have visited various churches and still do. I don’t know to this day if I will ever belong to another church, but this process I have gone through and continue to go through has been good for me. Discoving your web site has been a tremendous help. Thank you for speaking the truth Andrew.

  96. shirleyp77 Oct 2nd 2010

    You article was “right on.” I had been attending the same church for some 30+ years when our pastor died. His son came in as pastor and, after a year or two, the whole ministry changed radically. It became a “contemporary church,” with strobe lights, fog, dark sanctuaries and a “christian rock band” leading the worship. I became so grieved in spirit because I could not worship I eventually had to leave or dry up spiritually. I searched for another church and “thought” I found the right one. Sad fact, although they moved in the gifts and anointing, the pastors were so “self” centered – it seemed light only “they” heard from God and “we” were supposed to listen and do what they said. Major disillusionment! But – I didn’t give up and “finally” found a small ministry that preach a solid message, full of meat, operated in the gifts of the spirit and one not worried about how “many” members they had, but how their members were maturing in the Lord. They had not, in the past, grown much because there was no “fluff” and drive for more and more people – no matter the spiritual cost. What is gratifying to me is I have found a place I can hear the Word, grow and mature as a Christian, feel like I belong to a Church family again, etc. Also – just the short time I have been attending, I have seen growth start. I believe there are so many Christians out there looking for a ministry like this – and some are finding it. To God be the glory!

  97. I am a late comer to this discussion. As someone active in the house church movement I have been blessed and encouraged by Andrew’s recent letters on why people are leaving traditional churches. I wanted to follow up on what Randy Ailie shared earlier. Randy is part of our house church network and the angelic visitation he related took place in my living room with 8 people present. It was a powerful encounter that left us “unsettled” and walking in “the fear of the Lord” for weeks afterwards. You can read about it on our website at http://www.parousianetwork.org/Newsletter_Archive/Parousia_Weekly_E-Letter_For_05_02_07.htm. The important point is this. It wasn’t about the angels or the visitation, although that was profound. It was about the messages they delivered. The three messages made three points: 1) God wants to bring His church into a renewed experience of His holiness and the fear of God; 2) He wants to bring His church into a renewed spirit of genuine repentance; and 3) He wants to bring His church in a renewed intimacy with Himself.

    Whether you are an “in the church” believer or an “Outside the church” believer, this is what God wants His people to embrace and pursue in this coming move of His spirit. This is our focus in our house church network and we believe we have the heart of God in the matter. I welcome interaction with anyone who wants to discuss it further. And I want to take this opportunity to bless and encourage Andrew for taking the spiritually courageous stands that you have, brother, in your work. Sorry we didn’t have the opportunity to cross paths again (since Wales) here in the States. Blessings!

  98. Peter Lawrence Oct 2nd 2010

    Look mate….do you have a solution???????

    I know the faults Andrew…..but are you just trying to accumalate all the hurting and disillusioned unto your umbrella.

    Nice forum…but what do you stand for?

  99. Roger Souden Oct 2nd 2010

    Peter – Jesus has the answer, Jesus IS the answer… :-)

    I’m not trying to be ‘super-spiritual’ here (an expression I detest) Jesus is actually doing something here and now, at this time, He is asking questions of us through peoples comments and answering those questions through others comments.

    I see Him gathering people today.. in these threads, He is bringing members of His Body together – for His Glory, Praise His name.

    This is not a rebuke against you Peter – I love you with the love of Christ Jesus, and I enjoy your questions – they hit the ‘mark’..

    In Jesus,
    Roger

  100. Is this God`s way of sending His people out to reach the lost – because the churches won`t! – preferring instead to hold onto everyone and so build up their own kingdoms!

  101. Andrew Oct 2nd 2010

    Peter – sorry to make you so angry.
    I am not really understanding “why” you seem upset at me.

    My previous article “In church, Out of church, Future church” was all about what the true New Testament church had that we don’t. My only solution is to seek God to return to this. Until we know what we lack and until we have an urgency to seek after it, most times we simply won’t go there. We HAVE to go there, my friend! I believe a “Glorious Bride” is on the heart of God.

    God bless you!

    Andrew

  102. Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    This is the only Jew Jesus is concerned with, “whomsoever will come and be righteous, Holy, and perfect as He is obeying His word of truth to ones heart”.

    One willful sin {knowing to do what is pleasing to God
    and His word and not doing it}
    Knowing to do good and not doing it.
    That takes one out of relationship and fellowship with the Lord being in rebellion. {becomes a sinner in need of repentance}
    “1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness [willful sin], we lie, and do not the truth:”
    {no liars are found written in the book of life}

    Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;{Christ and His word by His Holy Spirit is the righteousness of God}
    “John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples”.

    Acts 1:4 And {speaking to the born again believers}, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father {The Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of an unknown prayer language to the believer}, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    {mouth of two or three witnesses let the matter be established}
    Most professing Christians haven’t obeyed Christ in this area and possible in the area of being holy sinning no more.
    Christ’s Christians do not sin in word, thought and deed.
    If they make a mistake they quickly repent and ask for forgiveness learning not to sin no more while learning His truth to combat vain imaginations before being overcome of temptations.

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
    6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

  103. Andrew – The glorious bride is on the heart of God, and it will be Him through the power of His Holy Spirit that will make us all holy, pure, unspotted, unblemished, bringing His chosen ones together, and using them to save a great multitude of people in His timing. How long have people sought for revival, restoration, and reformation, but haven’t seen it? It will happen in God’s time, in His way, not ours.

    What every individual saint needs to do now, is seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, seek His face, pray, fast, study to show themselves approved unto God. Be trained and prepared by the Spirit of God for what’s coming, and be ready to go when the Lord says go.

    John 10:1-4

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

  104. Nicole Oct 2nd 2010

    Peter,

    At this point and time I think the only one that has a solution is the Lord, Jesus. I think that many of us are just as perplexed as the next and when we don’t get answers it makes it harder.

    My personal only solution is to do what Roger has said and Tyrone and others. AS long as each of us are on a personal journey seeking the Master of ALL, Jesus our Lord, then that is all we can do.

    Many of us on these threads have been hashing back and forth and thru it we have learned that we are all seeing and doing the same things. We are loving the Lord, LISTENING to HIM, purging the secular, the world and the churches from the woundedness that we have experienced and we are trying so hard to follow the Lord our Almighty God.

    Each one of us has a testimony. Some are still in the deep woods and see no light., others see light but no path and others see the path but no solution to how to get out of the woods. They (we) are all WAITING upon the Councilor , the Leader, THE HOLY ONE , The Director, the tour guide (all the same all in one) the Lord Jesus to lead the way. It is a hard time for all of us and it is true – only the strong survive. But what is truer – more real, – those that have the Lord and they are focused on HIM — will come out and the great NETWORKER of all times – our Lord will have the solutions and the answers and tell us exactly what to do and where to be. I have this faith. I hope you do and if you don’t ask , and you will receive. — but sometimes we don’t receive by sight we have to see it by faith .

    Man , I have learned so much thru my journey what is and what is not. who I am and who I am not. On my face until there are creases in it and no tissue for the tears and I have learned that sometimes the Lord doesn’t answer and we start wondering why and then we each go thru our checklist and still look up and say why. ( I went thru a season of that) until I realized that God doesn’t have to answer our why’s or HIS reasons. We just have to love HIM and obey HIM.

    Each of you have a wonderful journey . Take note at where you are right now, and in months to come you will see how far you have gone and how much the Lord has led each of you.

    Blessings to each one of you.

  105. This is interesting and needed dialogue. Many of us are in the same place. I am 60 years old and have walked with the Lord for almost 40 years. I have been ‘going to church’ since I was a child (a preacher’s daughter). Considering my age, the fact that I am a student of Church history, and what I hear in the Spirit when I listen, I do think a shift is happening. This would seem to be a movement for sure. Many are dissatisfied with their church experiences and are leaving organized church settings. I am one of them.
    But I’m excited about what God is doing. Let’s have faith and not let the enemy freak us out. When God moves, it’s a good thing. He is moving on our hearts. Now there will be those who fall away because in their hearts they are giving up on Jesus. That is a sad thing. But there are those leaving organized churches for a different reason. These are people who love Yehshua (Jesus) and want a more real fellowship with Him and His Body. They want to know more about His word. If that is our heart’s cry and we are following hard after Him, how can we be anything but hopeful? We are blessed because we hunger and thirst after righteousness and Jesus promised we will be filled.
    Folks, this ‘ain’t’ the first time in church history this kind of shake-up has happened, and it won’t be the last. This is the nature of walking with God. Shaking is going to happen. Jesus told us it would. If we are anchored fast in Him, He will take us through.
    Martin Luther is just one of many who ‘hit the wall’ / had a crisis and it brought him (and many others) revelation. He was desperate for a real experience with God and it pressed him into turning to God’s Word where he learned that we are justified by faith alone. And it pressed him to challenge the religious system and its leaders. Luther’s desperation caused him to boldly bust through a (at least 1,000 + year old) religious log jam called the Roman Catholic Church which has to be the greatest religious walls on earth, challenged only by the Islam religion. But then what happened? All kinds of dogmas and denominations came out of The Reformation. The Catholics even eventually had their own reformation. And Luther had future personal struggles. His break-through brought freedom for many, and to others, more bondage. The condition and motive of our hearts will determine whether we will find freedom or more bondage.
    So, let’s be encouraged and look for answers as to what good God wants to bring out of this. As for me, here are a few of the good things that have happened since I got sick of “churchianity” and became a little more organic in my relationship with Father God and His people.
    1. I have become more fruitful. My little crisis pressed me to ask God this question. “What should I be doing with my life?” I quit focusing on who was going to fill my needs and began to ask God what I should be doing to be producing fruit. I re-evaluated the tug I felt in my heart toward others. I re-evaluated my gifting and realized that I am a teacher. So, my godly and like-minded friend and I started a ladies’ Bible study (we had more than 30 people come through – it finally averaged out to 5 faithful ones). Then my friend reached out to a group of inner city girls at one of the housing projects in our town. We meet with them weekly and give them God’s word. We average anywhere from12 – 15 girls and although we are very challenged by how to do this, they are responding so to God’s love for them.
    2. I am less stressed. I have more trust in God’s ability to keep me. I have laid aside those things that were so easily besetting me. I quit being disappointed in men who called themselves my leaders but never prayed for me or had even a word of encouragement for me. I quit wasting my time going to dead church services. It has given me more time to study and spend quiet time listening to the Lord’s voice.
    3. I have found richer fellowship. Because I am spending more time depending on Him and Him alone, I can hear His voice a little more clearly (the way I used to when I was a desperate new convert), and I’m lovin’ it! It feels so good. I have rediscovered my first love – HIM. I am being more led by the Spirit to find real fellowship. Now, my ‘lunch with a girlfriend’ expenses have increased, but I am enjoying closeness with others that I was missing. I pray and ask God to show me who He wants me to reach out to. I am becoming better at being a friend to others (not everyone accepts my invitation to lunch, but that’s okay). And I found an even better, more anointed prayer group than the one I left behind (actually, I was asked to leave the prayer group once I quit attending that church) Also, my friend and neighbor became prayer partners. She comes by my house two mornings a weeks on her way to work and we pray for our families (you know we need personal prayer partners for support – prayer groups should not be personal needy-fests).
    4. I have gone deeper into God’s word. This has been some of the best part of the last year and nine months. Studying God’s word more deeply has been rich, rich, rich. It is wonderful. I studied Ezekiel and Daniel, Acts and Romans, and am now on Revelation. It has been amazing to see how much more I understand now when I read. Also, I studied church history (Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity – a compilation of theologians and teachers, as well as other material). With my natural love for history and reading, it was just beyond rewarding. I can’t wait to meet all the Christians that have gone on before us. I have been so encouraged by their testimonies.
    5. I feel more prepared for the even harder times that are coming for the church. You know, family, Jesus is coming back. He told us things are going to get tough. We are getting a wake-up call (and have been getting one for a long time). We need to be ready for hard times. The early church had to go underground. Many in other countries throughout history have and are right now. In America, we have always enjoyed religious freedom, but that may be coming to an end. How will you find fellowship and support then? We should be learning now how to do that.
    You know, this is a little like leaving the public school system and homeschooling. It’s a little scary at first, but it’s good. I personally am feeling more gratified in my walk with the Lord than ever. If we are in Him and He in us, we are safe. Let’s just learn to follow His leading. Let’s let His indwelling Comforter comfort us. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.
    I don’t believe God is writing-off His people who meet in buildings marked ‘church.’ He is just leading His true followers into a richer and deeper walk with Him.

  106. I was encouraged by this article because in so many ways the different people who replied spoke for me and I know for many others as well. Recently due to all the Laodacian ways I have felt that the scripture, “Come out from among them and be ye separate,” was for those who live in places where there simply isn’t a place of worship that represents the bride of Christ. On the one hand we can be a light and an intercessor in churches like this. However if it affects your health, your family and marriage isn’t it better to I too leave? I too have felt that I have grown stronger and closer to the Lord out of the church.

  107. I am so glad you extended this article . I Dont feel so alone.

  108. Nicole Oct 2nd 2010

    You are never alone, Candy. You might be lonely but HE is always there.

    I know that is hard to understand when no one else understands what you are experiencing. And the tears continue to fall w/ the cries and the questions. But know that there are many many more than what you or I ever thought were out in training , in alone time w/ our Lord. Often times we don’t even realize we are in training or that HE IS REALLY WITH US. But HE IS. and He has shown you to others that are experiencing many of the same things. – feeling, frustrations and growth.and hope and future but it is ALL IN HIS TIME.

  109. traveler Oct 2nd 2010

    Maybe all of us are not seeing what is really happening.

    The impressions that I am getting is that while we are all looking for revival the Lord is working towards a Reformation instead.

    One long overdue!

    Maybe the day of the denominations are over because the time now is where the saints are giving their loyalty to the place of their worship rather than the one to whom they are pledged to worship.

    Instead of looking to why people are leaving the churches we should be looking to why God is drawing the people out of the churches.

  110. traveler – from what I can see, the ones who are loyal to their place of worship think they ARE being loyal to the One they pledge to worship. They further think that the ones who leave are rebellious…those who “forsake the gathering of themselves together”… and they set for themselves another brick of religiosity or self-righteousness into the wall.

    Maybe I’m wrong here, but this is what I see:
    There is a gap in time between the early church and the organized church (ie, the dark ages).
    The early church loved not their lives unto the death.
    The organized church involves self preservation.

    And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. ~ Rev. 12:11

    Often when that verse is referenced in church, it stops at “testimony”.

  111. traveler Oct 2nd 2010

    Judy, I would say that you are seeing things exactly as they are.

    The religiosity bred by loyalty to a particular denomination or church institution is now the stumbling blocks that block our service to God himself.

    From God’s perspective the only way to get rid of a stumbling block is to actually get rid of it. Looking back over the years there has been no shortage of prophecies saying that His hand of Judgement is about to fall on the corporate churches and we need to get out of them and be with him where he is.

  112. traveler Oct 2nd 2010

    Just to add, that does not mean that we are not going to have the gathering of the saints in some form or another, Just that it will not be under the denominational banner.

  113. David North Oct 2nd 2010

    My wife and I left church for a few very specific reasons. The comment in your newsletter about “backsliding” churches and not members was one but here are the specifics:

    1) The adverse effect on our three children of the” witness” of those representing Christ in the church. I don’t mean blatant sin or unrepentent hypocrisy…ignorance. Ignorance of what it means to be discerning, mature or to have a deep and genuine relationship with God. So many represented a “best we know how to do” approach or a “we follow the rules now you too and no questions”. Our kids as young teens began to pick up on this and ask repeated questions and it was beginning to color their view of being a Christian in a negative way.

    2) The lack of presentation of a real and tangible (and not “imaginary”) Jesus. Rules, doctrines, pastoral opinions, tradition, philosophy, clever sermons, activities and departments substituted for showing a walk with Christ and our kids (as well as myself and wife) weren’t seeing Him in it.

    3) Meeting and seeing hurt people being hurt more and then answered with “Question not and serve more and harder” theology.

    4) Hearing preaching from the pulpit by leaders that implied a personal experience with Christ but that was completely lifted and assimilated from various ministries and trends in churches around the country. It made you want to jump up and shout, “Tell them about a real Jesus!”.

    We were involved in helping our churches, did not pursue an adverserial relationship and prayed whilel trying hard to be a solution and not focused on the problem but it got to the point where I was literally grieving at what I was seeing.

    We spent seven and then three years at two different, local churches during the time described above and fellowshipped with Christians from several others and visited (two of my friends are pastors who founded churches and four are missionaries plus we are freinds with a few local pastors).

    Now I am preached at by my churched friends about “forsaking fellowship”, pressured by pastors we meet who “invite us” to correct our imbalance by attending their church yet our last son still home has found Christ only AFTER we left church and he chose afterwards to begin attending church himself–for which we commend him.

    You can’t make everyone see the way you see or expect them to know what you know from your own experience. god meets us where we are at and church serves a needed function–but at the end of the day it is simply, IS CHRIST PREACHED?” and by people who genuinely have met and chosen to follow Him..

    That’s all we are looking for.

  114. Lizzie Oct 2nd 2010

    Anaru – thank you for your word about the new paddock with green grass (and the rest of what you said) and about God hounding us to move into his new provision. That was a really powerful and clear picture. It would not be right to give details of a particular difficult situation of mine here, but after a night of bad dreams related to that situation your words have really struck home with me. Thank you.

  115. I am so sorry to have to read these comments. My heart goes out to those who cannot find real deep meaningful relevant Christian Fellowship. I have been in ‘all this’ since 1969 and have seen a lot! Somehow – somehow – we must work through ‘all this’ and fellowship together – so that we might be a witness to others. I understand what so many of you write – and know where you are coming from!

  116. Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

    11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

    13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

    John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

    49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
    {Are we obeying all that Christ told us in His word?}
    Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

    Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

    Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

    10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

    11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
    Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

    3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

  117. Peter Lawrence Oct 2nd 2010

    Andrew, I apologise, my previous post was harsh.
    Thanks for your forgiveness and comments from others.

    I got a little disappointed that this thread is going to basically draw the same responces from others as the previous thread.

    You said on the previous thread IN-CHURCH, OUT-of-CHURCH, FUTURE CHURCH
    We cannot afford to stay in “wilderness” mode.
    Remember – many of the children of Israel DIED there.

    I agree completely. Incidently Roger said it is Gods training ground, and yes that is true, but if we don’t do something about it we will die in the wilderness. Also it was the Israelites lack of faith and grumbling that kept them in the wilderness that long and almost all died there.

    If we only keep discussing the same thing without drawing any summary or conclusions I think many will always be wandering in the wilderness or just spiritually die.

    Andrew, you listed six things for a glorious future church. Why don’t you ask people to prayerfully and briefly list 5 things necessary for a glorious church and then evaluate there response. Sorry, it’s only a suggestion.

    The excellent prophecy below is no doubt where we all are now and what we can expect.

    Blessings and thanks.

    http://www.nonprofitpages.com/elm7/frodsham.htm

  118. Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

    13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

    15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

    16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

    17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

    20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

    Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: [free of sin-a clean conscience-in faith-doing the word of God-not earning but believing and enduring to the end]

    23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

    Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

    4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

    Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

    23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

    Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
    {Continue living in sin and unbelief-“Many are called [cross] but few are chosen [their choice to remain in Christ by faith, not earning or law or moral standing apart from Christ and obedient to His commands”]
    “Just shall live by Faith to be Holy as He is Holy and Righteous as He is Righteous, and perfect, without spot as He is, SINNING NO MORE- “a clean conscience” .

    Ezekiel 33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; …….
    “neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.”

    Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. {born again or not}The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
    1st John 1:5-6 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness {sin-unbelief-disobedience}, we lie, and do not the truth:

    John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. {who is He talking about here in Jn 10; 27-28…a true follower}
    [depending on whether they {by choice} remain and abide in Him. No man can, but the person, [born again] by choice, can decide to follow another voice into unbelief and sin deceiving themselves into a false security, having a guilty conscience, because they do not do the word of God thereby losing their fellowship and relationship with Christ trotting under foot His blood and body. You can’t get to Christ and abide in Him without a person choosing to do so. God doesn’t force anyone to come to Him.]

  119. watchful Oct 2nd 2010

    Sometimes it’s hard to nail down with words what we’re looking for, at least I find it so at times, but maybe if we ask what does the glorious church look like? Will it change and save the whole world? I don’t think so, we are told the world is appointed unto wrath. Will it be large numbers saved, ie, the majority of earth’s citizens? Don’t think so, because we are told the path to life is narrow and only a few will find it. Are we looking for one huge world-wide revival that will never end? We are told to expect “times of refreshing”, but not that these times will be permanent. In between times we carry on faithfully. Are we looking for the world to be amazed and captivated by the glorious bride? I dont think that is right either, because we know the world only sees the bride as fodder for the lions, as lambs going to the slaughter. Not many of us are wise or rich or successful in the world’s eyes – the world is not impressed, we don’t live by the world’s standards.

    So then I have to ask myself what are we looking for really? The kingdom does not come with our careful observation Jesus said, it is not seen externally, the kingdom is within us. Since the Lord opened my eyes to that truth, I have been set free to make this my huge overriding concern, the kingdom within ME – nothing else is my concern really until the kingdom comes in fullness within me. What’s the use of looking for any wonderful impressive move of God that I will only contaminate with my selfish, self-seeking, self-interested, self-willed, and oh-so-limited flesh anyway? The thing that occupies me is that, no longer I will live but Christ will live within me. If each believer concentrates on letting the Lord completely deal with his/her flesh, planting his/her life into the ground to die like a corn of wheat, a seeming waste of a perfectly ‘good’ kernel of corn, then after that God will do with His ecclesia and with each individual whatever He wills and the results will be more wonderful and complete and full and God-glorifying than anything man can ask or imagine, organize or plan – but not necessarily how we think. In the meantime we help and encourage each other, the one a little way ahead helping the one a little way behind, but knowing we can’t bring anyone any further than we ourselves have gone, so let’s just keep going until we ALL reach the Promised Land.

    There I think I managed to say it, I think for me that is my aim, my goal, my vision for His true church, that is what I pray for, that is what I seek, and that is what I live. Not for what might look glorious in my fleshly eyes, but for what pleases my Father.

  120. watchful Oct 2nd 2010

    ” 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

    Amen, Elihu, and Lord may it be true for all your sons and daughters.. See isn’t this what pleases Him and what we should seek!

  121. All you folks who are desperate for meaningful churches should just start your own house church. That’s how many congregations get started anyway. People who are tired of what is out there often decide to do something that fits them. So DO SOMETHING.

  122. Mary said: “I don’t believe God is writing-off His people who meet in buildings marked ‘church.’ He is just leading His true followers into a richer and deeper walk with Him.”

    Amen and AMEN!

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

    Q: What would happen if we suddenly found ourselves without religious freedom and the church was forced to go underground?
    A: Those who have been “underground” are prepared (by God) to accept and lead those who had thus far chosen to remain in buildings.

    As such, should we think that this season is about us and our preferences?

    When I saw what our choices were in the 2008 elections, my heart grieved for the direction our country could head. I cried out to God, Who was fairly quiet. What became impressed on my heart was “My word must come to pass.”

    I discussed this concept with my mom, who is 90. Her understanding of Revelation was as a warning…ie, something conditional, as if God was saying “This is what’s going to happen if you guys don’t obey.”

    Let me ask you all a question: what is your level of fear about endtimes as written in Revelation (keeping in mind that a remnant is mentioned throughout the book)…and do you think they should occur in a future generation as opposed to our own? Secondly, what are we doing to prepare our children and grandchildren?

  123. Nicole Oct 2nd 2010

    Posted this on the wrong thread. Each of us has wonderful testimonies and it is important to listen , be heard, and pray , I truly believe the Lord is bringing many here to the website to do just that as we mingle w/others for HIS PURPOSES that we might not fully understand.!!

    Amen Watchful.

    I think after reading all of this , many of us are working out our salvation step by step and overcoming so very much. Reading all these threads, starting from way back and then when Andrew experienced what he did on the border w/ his family,

    I think we are all listening to the Lord. Some of us are further along than others and that is exactly where the Lord has them AS LONG as they are willing to let go, and LET HIM LEAD THE WAY.

    This thread has been good for so many , because they are being heard by others that have experienced the pains, the questions, the anxieties, the suffering and none of it will be lost. It will be and is a process of being healed and set free and in that we are becoming WHOLE in the BODY OF CHRIST.

    Because if you read the papers and the christian websites there is a lot of people that are going to be hurting and the emotional stress will put such anxiety upon the physical body that people will need loving caring, help from those that have gone thru the process of allowing Jesus to heal them. They in turn will be led or they might just be somewhere and the Holy Spirit will come upon them and they will be bold enough to say something , do something, and pray, hug, and be willing to help someone else.

    Do not lose hope people. That is a trick of the devil and since I have been speaking out so boldly and giving testimony I have been attacked – not by others on this web, but satan has tried to override me and yet the power of the Holy Spirit has sheltered me and given me insight. So in that I know that the Lord is for us all and we are to just be w/HIM and do AS HE DIRECTS each of HIS SERVANTS. He truly is the great networker and then we must be bold as we step forward.

    In love to all on your journeys and one day we all truly might meet face to face. Until then the love of the Father is with each of us.

  124. My apologies to all on this thread and I humbly ask forgiveness. My question wasn’t intended to stir up gross fear, but to spur thought between you and the Lord.

    Although He prayed if there was any other way, Jesus embraced the Cross.

    Andrew, I further apologize to you for raising an issue other than the subject here.

    Blessings to all,
    Judy

  125. Many have said things I relate to on this board in all their comments. I can relate to much of what has been said. But, I feel convicted also (not sure how others feel) but as we have been removed, removed ourselves, or the Lord told us to leave…various churches, it is quite apparent to me that this displaced Body is not doing all IT has been called to do. We all want to see the power, the glory, the revival, the awakening, the powerful signs and wonders…but how many of us (myself included) are out on the streets fishing for the vary people God WANTS to heal and do miracles for. He didn’t come for the righteous (the already “churched”) and the Physician came to heal the sick, why are we not out THERE more. We see JW’s all over the place but we don’t see Jesus’ true Church out there. We shame our own selves in this way. God equipped us with what church is, was (Acts) and is becoming (the deep hunger in our hearts for Him)…WE ARE who is meant to reach the lost. While some of us have mulled over self-pity, church hurt, frustrated callings, misunderstood, etc God is asking us to be of use right where we are…even in the so-called duldrums of being “out-of-church” which, by the way, there is NO such thing in Christ. We are part of the Body, and unless He amputates or cuts off branches, you will BE a part of that Body whether you sit in a building, a mudhut or a shanty in India. We need to get to work…period.

  126. Kevin Oct 3rd 2010

    If you have been called out, to go through the desert as our Lord Jesus Christ was, prior to starting His ministry, make sure you complete this stage before moving on to anything else.

    The wilderness has nothing to do with being “in Church or out” it is all to do with a stage in our walk with Christ, that we all have to through, if we want to move from being those who want to receive, to those who can give and minister for the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Many turn back from the desert to what they have known in the past, only to find that they are unsettled, unfulfilled and still looking for real meaning in their walk with Christ.

    The answer is on the other side of the desert.

    The following is part of the revelation that Christ gave me, about why so many are in the wilderness.

    —————————————————————————–

    “The Path to Christ and His Authority ”

    Is our Lord Jesus Christ constrained in any way ?
    Has He lost His authority, or the victory that He won on the cross ?

    Can anyone claim to be fully surrendered to Him , when they lack the signs of His indwelling and authority ?
    Can we truly serve Him, and glorify Him without the fullness of His spirit ?

    Our Lord Jesus Christ never sent out His servants without His power and authority to achieve what He intended.
    Even the 72 followers in Luke Ch 10, who’s names were never mentioned, served Him with the full measure of His power and authority.

    Just as the nation of Israel was led out of Egypt, into the desert, on the way to the promise land, so Jesus was led out of the baptism waters, into the desert, where He overcame the ruler of this world, before He emerged with the power and authority of the Spirit to start His ministry.

    We are lost in the desert and have been deceived by satan, who has us going around in circles focusing on him and his deceptions and works, instead of looking to Christ.
    We need to be focusing on what is pure and perfect in Christ, surrendering ourselves totally to Christ, allowing Him to renew our minds, so we can fully serve Him, and know His will and direction for our lives.
    .
    We need to look within ourselves, for what hinders the work of Christ in us.
    We need to allow Him to lead us through the desert, to overcome the flesh, the world and the enemy.
    If we humble ourselves and turn to Christ and admit we haven’t got all the answers, or the fullness of His Spirit , He would heal us, and lead us to walk in victory.

    ————————————————————————–

    Worrying about what the church should look like, or holding onto to hurt and judgment about past “church ” experience , is to focus on the work of the enemy and to stay circling in the desert.

    As the members of Christs body learn to overcome, He will assemble them into their right place in His body.

    I hope this helps those who are searching for more in Christ.

    His servant Kevin.

  127. It is obvious to me that the Lord is calling those who are interested in obeying Him. As so many have noted in the comments. “we are the church”. It is not four walls and a building fund. The truth in too many Churches has departed. There is too much seeker sensitive,water down the gospel, and give a feel good message in the churches. Jesus Himself said he is the rock and those not broken by him will be crushed by him. We are to conform to the Bible, not twist it to our own ends. Too many seminary students become pastors who do not believe what the bible teaches. They question the virgin birth and even Jesus as being the son of God. How can churches hire these young pastors and have them not believe what they are suppossed to preach?

    I have not been in a church for several years now. The ones I have visited do not have the truth. I do not doubt they exist but are few and far between. I know of people who are living in adulterous situations and tell me their pastor is OK with it. If you stand for the truth of the bible so called Chritians tell you it is “open to interpretation”. They tell me there are many scripture they can show me that contradict what I am saying. Of course if you tell them to show you they cannot. Woe to these who believe they are “good Christians” when the Lord will tell them “depart I never knew you”.

    I say it is better to be in your own “boat” with those who love the truth and obey the word. I do not want to be with a majority that will sink in flames.

  128. @Kevin – makes sense. Thank you.

  129. Louann1486 Oct 3rd 2010

    Susan,
    I understand how you feel and understand why you left your chuch, but God’s word said forsake not the assembling of yourselves together. You have to pray my dear and ask the Lord to direct you to the right church, it can be a gathering in a house of saints that have the same passion as you Susan, but there’s has to be a leader, and there has to be a place where the word of God is preached and tithes are being paid.

    In my opinion, the reason a lot of people are leaving churches is sometimes because of the leaders.
    Some of the leaders have been tempted like the devil tried to tempt Jesus.
    The bible says that the devil took Jesus to a place to see the glory of the world and said “all of this I will give you, if you would just fall down and worship me”
    Well, the same devil, same tactics but he is using the same tactics on preachers. Many of which have gotten weak and accepted the devils offer. Why are there so many mega churches, these chuches are not mega from preaching fire and brimstone messages.
    Also the bible says that in the last days, there will be a great falling away from the faith and it is happening right now.
    We are all accountable for our actions, I can not put all the blame on these preachers.
    The Lord said that judgement begins at the house. It start with the preachers and then us.
    I left a pentecostal church because, well I am not going to say because I do not want to say anything about the man of God. I don’t care how wrong some of them may be, we have to be very careful.
    But I will say this, you can judge the tree by the fruit it bears.
    Finding the right church is like finding a husband or wife, there has to be a connection, and if there is no connection, the relationship is not going to work.
    How can 2 walk together accept they be in agreement.
    So when on your search to find the right church for yourself, the first thing to do is include the Lord, let HIM lead you, use wisdom, please, you know what you are looking for in a church but mainly you want a church where you can be helped.
    So what you do is look at the fruit, the majority of the fruit will show you the type of pastor he is, also look at his wife and children.
    Go to a prayer meeting if they have one and watch the way he prays and how he interact with the members, if he seem concerned about them and will reach out and pray for them. You have to go a few Sundays and Wednesdays to make your assessment.
    The reason I’m saying this is because I noticed a pastor, at the end of the service when we had altar service, how he prayed very little for this young man and got tired and sat down and left the praying to everybody else.

  130. Louann1486 Oct 3rd 2010

    Continue-
    To me, that says a whole lot about that pastor. I felt sorry for him and for us because it almost shows that he does not really have a very strong burden for souls.
    He is not a bad pastor, but us being human beings, we tend to get tired and lose hope and faith because the miracles we preach about, healings deliverances, ain’t happening, therefore when we preach it now feels like a job and not a call.
    I don’t claim to have all the answers, but my soul is in tuned to the Lord’s voice. I spend a lot of quiet times, still times to hear from HIM.
    So I urge you all who is out of church, to seek the Lord like never before, include HIM in your search for the right place for you to assemble, so that you can be raised, taught and grow dear children.
    I will keep you all in my prayers, OK?
    I love you all
    LorettaAnn

  131. Andrew Oct 3rd 2010

    The big reason why I have published these two articles this week is that we might all begin to “SEEK” the Glorious church that is described in the Bible. -Not settling for “wilderness” and not settling for “church as usual”. But seeking after “Body Life” as it is meant to be in the New Testament.

    Let me repeat something from my first article-

    It was these very things (below) that meant the early church SHONE FORTH the GLORY OF JESUS every day. Here they are-

    We must have-
    (1) An APOSTOLIC gospel being preached with Apostolic-type
    anointing and authority. (Whenever this has happened down
    through history there has been real Revival). -SO CRUCIAL.
    (2) The powerful moving of the HOLY SPIRIT – filling people, healing
    people, convicting people, transforming people.
    (3) REAL LOVE and an emphasis on ministering to the POOR.
    (-Just like the early church).
    (3) REAL DISCIPLES who actually “forsake all” to follow Jesus.
    (4) REAL PRAYER – in the Holy Spirit. -And lots of it!!
    (5) THE WHOLE BODY MINISTERING – Starting with the “5-fold”
    ministries – whose goal is to release the whole body into ministry.
    (6) MIRACLES and HEALINGS. -These are a must!

    I believe God would have us seek a Glorious church just like we see in Scripture. It is on the heart of God.

    Blessings. – Andrew.

  132. Pastor Brian Bennett Oct 3rd 2010

    I am as all a man who has been to say the least disalousioned by the state of the churches and for that matter the out of churchers as well. I have been both. For the last 7 years I have been like a rolling stone going where ever the Lord sent me. for times it was in a church setting, and others it was in home fellowships, and yet at other times there was no where I was sent but to wait on the Lords next command for my life (which I think is important at this point I say asmy life is not my own), for this life style depends on being sold out for the Fathers will in Christ. In more recent times the Lord has had me open a meeting in a shared facility for 5 ministries to work out of and held meetings to share the true gospel of Jesus Christ to whom ever would come (these being lead of God). Many times it was just my family, and sometimes others others too. It is amazing how His love and grace is poured out of me from Heaven when I simply obey especially when it is one person only that God sent. Glory to His name.

    I like most of the posts indicate, have been hoping for some miraculous place to go to a fellowship, but this has not manifested. And there is good reason, it is not what the apostolic church of Christ was ever meant to be! We have been trying to resurect that which has its roots in death to begin with. Religion in any form other than as described in James 1:26, 27, and of course Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Matthew 10:8, Acts 2:40-47.

    I am not saying that I have achieved this completely but am very much closer to it after seven years of obedience that took me way, way past anything my church experiences have ever been for me. Remember, please remember that there are so many that will never step into a church and we are in this world, but not of it. So therefore go and preach in your mission field, your town, and live this gospel we talk about.

    So many times in the past I was to tired, to busy to obey God. Friends this was my selfishness in the action of disobedience against the will of God my Father. Then one day I was given a wake up call by God about the real meaning of Romans 12:1, 2 and I have never been the same.

    Subdequently since then I have been delivered into His service more and more, glory to His name forever. Now my schedule is overloaded compared to my old manor of thinking. Sunday we start off at a non-denomination fellowship, and in the evening we open our humble little office space for our meeting. Monday is a prayer meeting, Tuesday is rest and time for my wife and I to have (date night), Wednesday is bible classes for the family and I teach leaders of a Spirit filled fellowship in Christ, Thursdays are a Spirit filled 12 step meeting to help those who want deliverence from addictions, Friday is Family night and rest, Saturday is various things, and of course Sunday it starts all over again. All this while running a business during the week and sometimes on Saturday too. However my life is not my own and I live in Thy will not mine be done. Though not perfect I am at peace most of the time now and the joy is very often so unspeakable.

    I implore you to seek God and His will for your life and do it. I promise you that when you do this civil war of the devils will mean nothing to you any more, and people will. Gods stock and trade is people! We need ot love His people and those whom He wants us to help with our lives, as drink offerings poured out for His will being done; for the saving of the lost and his gospel preached. John 7:37-39.

    May this bless you and help you I pray to do that which is acceptable to God. Romans 12:1,2

    In His service
    Pastor Brian Bennett

    PS lets not forget the many and varied moments of God appointments that so bless my life in Him, You know the moments at walmart, etc.

    In the Love of Christ
    Brian

  133. We don’t go to church.

    We are the church!

    David

  134. Anna de Greeff Oct 3rd 2010

    Dear Church,
    My heart goes out to all the cries I read, but He says; He will hear our cry. He is doing ‘ a new thing’ in my life. Since I am more involved reading the Torah and asking for His guidance in how to live by It, including the New Covenant teaching , my restlesness is leaving and a new exitement is growing in my heart towards our LOrd.A new love for God’s Chosen ones is instilled in my heart and I know, we are becoming ‘ one new man’ in HIM !!!

  135. Louann1486 Oct 3rd 2010

    David,
    You are right, we are the church, but the Lord said to forsake not the assemblying of yourselves together.
    It does not have to be a “Church building” just meet with saints that believe the same as you do, but make sure you have someone over you to instruct you as the Lord instructs him.
    You have to be able to assemble where the word of God is preached and water baptisms are practiced and tithes are being paid, fishes are being cleaned and fed, raised and trained.
    Even Pastors have someone over them who have to instruct them. I know some people don’t believe in organizations, but sometimes organizations are good because it protects the people unless you find a church not in an organization who is honest and will not cheat or lie to you, but bring to you the naked word of God.
    LorettaAnn

  136. Roger Souden Oct 3rd 2010

    LorettaAnn – I know you have commented inside the forum, if you haven’t already, may I respectfully ask you to read the comments on this thread and the previous thread..?
    There are many who have been discussing and sharing these things over the past week – through their comments you will find a lot of teaching of where people are in their walk with the Lord :-)

    In the unity of His Spirit, and the love of Jesus Christ our Lord,
    Roger

  137. Stephen St. Louis Oct 3rd 2010

    It’s a divisive topic and no one can deny that. It’s right up there with the worship wars and whether Adam had a navel.

    The bottom line would seem to me that, as individuals, our first responsibility is to be where the Lord wants us, doing what He wants us to be doing. If that has you in a church calling people to awaken then so be it. If that has you out of a church calling for unity amongst scattered remnants of “nose to the grind stone”, often embittered out-of-churchers so be it as well. It is only when we are where the Lord wants us that we can thrive and be effective in the callings that He gives us.

    My own calling would seem to be the first. Its hard slugging sometimes and I am often misunderstood and I’ve been accused of being negative and judgmental simply because I ask them if they are really saved. I’ve been told that the suggestion of baptizing someone the instant they repent is impractical especially when it comes to large gatherings. I the best result I seem to get a most of the time is to be totally ignored.

    I take solace in the fact that God is using me even if I don’t seem to be having any effect. I just do as I’m told and leave it to Him. To those who are disheartened in both camps, take courage and seek the heart of The Almighty. He knows your needs and will supply them even as he has mine. Seek Him first and all other things will be given to you. Be bold and pursue what He has called you to even if it costs you everything.

  138. Jeremiah 29:13

    “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

  139. Wherein does having a pastor lead and paying tithes fix the heart problem???

    My husband comes from a line of lying, cheating and porn joke pastors, missionaries. They always seem to attract their types and they all rub one another up the back and help one another “get away with it”.

    God will not turn a blind eye, these types of people get more and more deluded and become reprobates. I will not stop preaching against these people. They hide one another, and the wives right along with them. I don’t agree that women should hide their pastor and missionary husbands while they pervert the world with their wickedness.

    As Jesus says, a little leaven leavens the whole batch.

    So many people love to turn the blind eye. the wives will not answer my calls and answer the hard questions. They love to keep their status of pastors wife, or widow of the pastor, rather than loving righteousness. They need to look out, Sapphira agreed to her husband to lie, and she fell dead too, right along with him. That tells us that God holds the woman accountable!!! God has called us to stand for righteousness sake……even if we lose our husbands and our fathers and mothers and sisters. No such thing as women harbouring wicked husbands. Righteous women are as bold as lions.

    We have to commit absolute loyalty to Him. Yield not, and succumb not to wickedness under the guise of religion. In fact, we need to speak out against it and quit turning the blind eye.

    There is coming a day to be reckoned with in the Highest Supreme Court. Where ALL men shall stand and give account, Great and small, rich and poor.

    The deceived think that God will turn a blind eye to their doings on that day. Very serious, very serious, very serious. And woe, they have difficulties repenting on their death beds. They try to cover and smear things over, and they are dying and going into eternity, and all the while getting a little honest and not truly honest.

    I had to withdraw my sons from the churches in our town or else they would be corrupted by now. Drinking, drugs and sex all at once, and then at the church and working in the church nursery. the pastors son, pimping on the streets and selling street drugs and then in the worship team while his prophet mum cockadoodles her great prophecies over him and lies on the sidelines. The elders lying behind closed doors. One elder used a jezebel spirit. I warned the pastor and told him that he had better look out and examine the characteristics that God requires for pastors. But he went ahead anyhow. Then this elder was bid to court for abuse of his foster children. The children said he walked around naked in his home and beat them all often unconscience. This same man canvasses money from the churches and is always in a hurry to get back to India. From the sex that pours from his mouth why would he be trusted in a land full of child prostitution???

    Speak i pray!? And we turn the blind eye, and make reasonings and excuses and send these wicked men to places faraway where there is NO accountability???

    Now I tell the people that the blood of the innocent will be on their hands. They think they can turn a blind eye, they are afraid to be hated by men??? Sinners, that’s all I can say about them, sinners. And the word “sin” today makes them flinch not. Now I use the word “crime” and they flinch a little.

    If someone comes to you brothers and sisters, and they say a negative about a man in ministry who is being sent where human trafficking is high…..please err on the side of caution, for the sake of the vulnerable. Please do not give them finances and possibly work with Satan, who wants to destroy and defile all the children on this earth.

    Yes, I know of a handful of extremely sweet pastors too. :)

    Those that worship MUST worship in spirit and in TRUTH!!!

    love,
    Sarah

  140. traveler Oct 3rd 2010

    It would seem to me that all the arguments for and against that we see here are just a repeat of what was said when the Protestant movement started up and Luther nailed his list to the door.

    Of course back then it was a call to remain faithful to the Catholic Church under the Pope. Now we may not sell indulgences any-more because the Protestant Churches give them away for free, but the principle is still the same, A shake up is now long overdue.

  141. Rather disconcerting for me to witness to the JW, and the JW be right about the condition of the church. She tells me she is offended that they celebrate Christmas and Easter. Indeed, originally these were pagan holidays, but the world has so infiltrated the church that she plays along. In the mean time, I am stumped about how to answer my friend.

  142. Gidday Andrew. . I no longer look forward to going to what was a Pentacostal Evangelical Church . There is no longer a spirit of propecy . Worship has become mechanical . Preaching is ‘via the program’ and Evangelism is ‘via the program’ . The latest Fad is A Fun Fellowship and Faith program that will help us make disciples. There was one lady today who was totally filled with the Spirit oblivious to all that was going on . She was so filled with the Spirit that she couldn’t drive home without praising God. There is no Biblical teaching , or discipleship and anything…. easy beleivism … all my friends are over 60 because to say you beleive in doctorines of the faith to be taught is ‘wrong’ and ‘spiritual ‘ Pray as we feel so so dry … and are self feeding at the moment

  143. Pastor Mac Oct 3rd 2010

    I have been a Spirit filled Pastor for over 15 years now. I have tried to serve within the denominational structured church. I have been voted out twice and tolerated twice. Each time I was voted out the Holy Spirit was beginning to move in powerful ways. A doctoral student working at NASA who loved to play the stringed instruments came to know Christ and then two months later his equally intelligent wife did so as well. They started a prison ministry soon after that. I saw a steady flow of people coming to Christ and expressing a very real encounter. Then on Pastor’s appreciation day I was called into a 2 hour long emergency meeting. Two months of hell later I was asked to leave.

    The second time I lasted 10 months as the Spirit began moving even quicker than other times. The thrill seekers and the stiff necked began to pull away, but the Lord brought other new excited believers. It was decided that they wanted back the thrill seekers and the stiff necked rather than see a new church born.
    My wife and I hear these cries of those who want the true church to arise. We are planting a new work and desire to link with those who want to see repentance, salvations, miracles, life callings, and all the power needed to make a real difference in the world around us.

  144. Louann1486 Oct 3rd 2010

    There you go,
    Link with the people that have the same passion and burden as you and your wife. And go back to the old path and walk therin and you all will sure enough witness all kinds of miracles, healings, deliverences, power, salvation, true surrendering,true repentance.
    I will be praying for you all that this comes to pass.
    LorettaAnn

  145. This EXODUS is un-precedented in History, save for the exodus when the Israelites were delivered by God out of Egypt, which represents the world, the worlds religions and the worlds economy. (666)

    This is happening NOW for a reason and purpose, and it is NOT to re-organize ‘christianity’ into it’s compartments again and it will never happen.

    Christianity IS the point at where so many of us are leaving and it’s because of this, the Holy Spirit is taking us out of our captivity in Egypt, to mold and make us in our wilderness experiences, to purify us to become that Spirtually pure and w/o blemish Bride He so desires of us.

    Ancient Israel was unable to do what the Lord had hoped of them and were rejected and tossed aside. Christianity failed to be that pure and spotless Bride also and is being rejected by the Lord in the same manner that He Himself rejected the jewish religionists of His day.

    Not all will leave the wilderness as referenced before, many will die in that situation or they will die inside the prison walls of religion if they stay put and continue in their religion while the Lord is moving those out, purifying them and preparing them for the ultimate witnessing of His truth for the coming Tribulation where darkness will rule.

    The ‘christian church’ cannot be saved nor should it be saved. You can’t have a New Testament church in the same mold as what has been indoctrinated into so many people under the banner of Christianity. The Bride will not call herself Christian as the previous article published, ‘The Bride will Leave Christendom’ so clearly demonstrates.

    The true Apostolic Church seen in Acts is what His Church is being returned to, with He as the leader and Him tapping people to fill roles currently chosen by mankind.

    His will is being done and we should all be watching carefully what is going on…this is completely ‘unprecendented’ for a reason and purpose. He is doing a New thing and it is wonderful!

  146. Two things must be understood. The falling away and the beginning of Judgment. Both of these have begun already.
    3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first,2 Thess 2:3
    16 but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name. 17 For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?
    1 Peter 4:15-17
    The broad road gangs that call themselves the church have polluted themselves with another gospel, another seed that produces another Christ. They have fallen away from the truth of the gospel. They do not have the nature, character or authority of Christ. They are fruitless.
    Likewise Judgment has begun at the true houses of God which are the remnant. This is an answer to prayer. Those who have authority in prayer are praying for their brethren to come out of Babylon.
    19 And out of Jacob shall one have dominion, And shall destroy the remnant from the city. Num 24:19
    Many of God’s people, the true believers, are suffering trials, but they should not be ashamed. It is through many trials that we shall enter the kingdom of heaven. That kingdom is here and now. It is the fruit of Christ in us the hope of Glory. God is coming for the fruit.
    A few years ago I received a prophetic word of judgment on the US. Something told me to look into it. As I searched I found many having these same dreams and visions. As I searched I found God was confirming these with a greater revelation of the gospel, signs and wonders, and a call to repentance and love of the truth. In addition God spoke to my heart
    4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: Rev 18:3-4
    I would not be immediately obedient as I had served at my church faithfully for eight years. But after six months I began to feel sick after every service and would remain sick and drained throughout the day. This was nothing less than sickness of heart and soul at a leavened powerless gospel, which was producing leavened and powerless Christians. I finally gave my notice that I would not be serving anymore and left the church after the following week. The church cannot be overcome. It can only come into judgment from God because of leaven. This is what Balak taught to Balaam. The true church is coming out in order to be cleansed and directed of God rather than man.
    What came after that, were many trials. Judgment must begin at the true house of God, to teach us to overcome by faith. This is so that we may learn to come out of the world and out of apostasy and into the land of Goshen. God uses the rod and the staff. Right now God is calling his sheep out of the churches using both the rod and the staff. Those who come out will suffer trials but in so doing they may be counted worthy to escape the hour of trial, because they are not of this world.
    10 Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Rev 3:10

    They are undergoing the judgment to God on their old carnal nature so that they will die to themselves and live to the power of God. They are learning to overcome by faith in the truth of Christ. They are taking their rightful place of authority, which is to be seated with Christ in heavenly places. All this is so that they will no longer be in the world but rejoicing in that hour of trial.
    12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe for the earth and for the sea: because the devil is gone down unto you, having great wrath Rev 12:12
    Please understand the purpose of you suffering and your alienation is of God. The broad road leads to destruction, and there is much company there. But the narrow path of faith is found by a very precious few. You are that precious few. Though the path is hard sometimes, and it is lonely sometimes, trust God. He will lead you to true fellowship. Do not compromise.
    This age we live in is unique. The Lord has given me the grace to fellowship with believers from DC to Ca, from New Mexico to Canada via phone and web conference.
    I belong to a body in which everyone that is a part hungers and thirsts for righteousness. I belong to believers in which everyone who is a part loves the word of God. I belong to a church in which everyone who is a part is growing up into the image of Christ. I belong to a church full of the foolish and weak despised and rejected things of this world, which God is making beautiful in their season. You are this church, if you will let Christ be your head. And receive no more the seed of man but the pure seed that produces Christ.
    4 These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Rev 14:3-4

  147. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Ralph Lane, October 1989, New Zealand

    I was confused about what constituted God’s church, so I asked Him to enlighten me. His answer came to me in the form of three different pictures and the statement:

    “My church is built of living stones “.
    Scene 1: I saw a large field full of stones. As I watched, the stones came to life and began to move. The majority of the stones moved to my side of the field. Then they broke up into groups. Some formed themselves into a rough heap in no form or order, while others as if under direction, stacked themselves in orderly fashion to form walls or fences. At the same time other stones moved to the far side of the field, too far off for me to see what was happening.

    Scene 2: I was in the same position but some time had passed. The stones which had formed into a rough heap had collected dirt and dust in all the holes and gaps, allowing weeds and scrub to overgrow the heap. The stones were now captive and unable to move. The various walls that had formed were in a sorry state of repair, some with weeds growing in the cracks where the stones didn’t fit. Some walls had split in two, while other walls had gaps where stones had fallen out. Stones were still moving between the walls, and a few stones were moving across the field to the far side. Generally the area had taken on a ‘dead look’. When I looked closer at the walls I saw that those which had collapsed had no foundation under them; they had been built on dirt alone, while the walls which had split had solid foundations in parts but not in others where they had crumbled. Walls where stones were falling out had very uncertain, disintegrating foundations.

    As I considered these pictures it seemed that God was saying that ‘We’ are the stones and we are to gather together in an orderly fashion under direction, but must watch the foundation on which we gather, and under whose direction we gather, and also how we are fitted into the structure.

    Scene 3: I was once again at the same field but this time on the opposite side. In the distance I could see the rough heap of stones and collection of now very dilapidated walls. Directly below me was a large wall with small walls attached to and forming part of it. These small walls jutted out to various distances on either side. The first thing I noticed about this wall was its foundation. It looked solid, smooth and strong, and had the appearance of going very deep into the ground. The wall itself seemed very solid and secure yet alive and with no joins or cracks between the stones which fitted perfectly. Stones continued to arrive from they other side of the field, moving to the wall and looking for a place to settle. One would find a hole and drop into it, but if it didn’t fit, it would move away looking for another place. When it found its place it became as one with the wall and left no gap or crack where it joined The stones seemed to be moving as if under direction but I could see no visible director. Then words seemed to form in my mind like a sign above the wall which said: “This is my church “.

    I understood that God requires His people to gather together on the foundation of Jesus Christ alone. The foundation should have none of those things that man would build into it, as man’s ideas will cause the foundation to crumble and give way.
    We must allow ourselves to be built together under the direction of the Holy Spirit alone, as He has a place already set out for our particular shape, and only He knows where it is.
    We must not allow men to reshape us and try to fit us into a structure to their purpose, as the fit they make will never be perfect and weeds will grow in the cracks causing stones to fall from the wall. The temple of God is built from living stones and can only be completed as they allow themselves to be perfectly fitted together to become one. When each stone supports all those stones that come in contact with it, then together they will form a single stone..

  148. HappyTrails Oct 4th 2010

    It appears that the NEW TESTAMENT “CHURCH” has been FALSELY DESCRIBED BY MANY.

    Those of you who are LEGALISTS (BY THE LETTER OF THE WRITTEN WORD AS INTERPRETED BY A “RIGHTEOUS MAN”) are as misled as those who are “SPIRIT FILLED” and have come out of the “Institutes.”

    There is a remnant of people who CONSISTENTLY point to the 1 solution to ALL the “issues” that are brought to the forefront in ALL these articles and in the form………IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME SOLUTION ……1 SOLUTION FOR ALL THE ISSUES.

    BUT…THAT 1 SOLUTION DOES NOT SATISFY THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO COME TO THIS WEBSITE…….otherwise the “aha” moment would come and the discussion would be over…..unity of mind with the Spirit of God.

    So I ask this question….”Why when God’s truth is brought to Light from several sources………WHY IS THAT TRUTH NOT ACCEPTED AND BELIEVED AND ACTED UPON BY THE RECEIVERS?

    And God gave me the answer to why people stay in their darkness and blindness and continue to believe lies about Him and His way.

    PEOPLE’S PRIVATE SIN, IDOLS, AND LIES HAVE BLINDED THEM AND HARDENED THEIR HEART TO THE POINT OF UNBELIEF. THEY HAVE COME TO THE POINT OF HARDNESS THAT THEY CANNOT BELIEVE THE TRUTH WHEN IT IS PRESENTED TO THEM.

    God does not give up on these people, but the solution to a hardened heart is BROKENNESS……OUR HEARTS MUST BE CRUSHED WITH SUFFERING AND HUMILITY TO RID US OF LIES AND IDOLS.

    Those of you who God is speaking to…..do not continue in your arrogant prideful ways….or God will break you with circumstances, situations, and people.

    GIVE UP YOUR WAY NOW WITH ABSOLUTE SURRENDER….AVOID BEING CRUSHED FROM THE OUTSIDE……EMBRACE BEING CRUSHED BY GOD ON THE INSIDE…..FACE TO THE FLOOR.

    There are SO MANY verses (usually in RED) that confirm what I just said…..but there is none so blind than those who WILL not see.

    From Our Father’s Heart
    9/30/2010

    Place all your fears, your needs, and your cares upon Me.
    Give them all to Me because I really care for you
    and will carry the weight of them for you.
    It is your right to do so, because of what Jesus has done for you at the cross.
    It is not right for you to carry the load and the pressure yourself.
    Your doing so is PRIDE.
    IT IS ACTUALLY A REBELLION AGAINST YOUR SUBMISSION TO ME.
    Once you really understand your desperate need of Me,
    and humble yourself enough to accept My help
    instead of handling things yourself,
    you will be forever free.
    It is My desire for you to FLOW IN THE FREEDOM OF SUBMISSION THAT HAS BEEN EARNED FOR YOU THROUGH JESUS..

    Ps. 55:22 AMP Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).

    Note: Some take issue with the accuracy of The Message. That being said, we sometimes choose to include it as an interpretation, not for study purposes, but to add color and emphasis to what is being shared.

    Psalm 55:22 The Message…. Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders- he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.

    1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you.
    7) Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

    It is most difficult for us to understand that in complete submission, we are totally free. It is also difficult for us to understand that carrying the load of our needs is sin if we say that we have submitted our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is rebellion, and a lack of trust in the Lord to be faithful to carry them for us.
    Charles G. Trumbull wrote: “Worry is sin, a black murderous, God-defying, Christ-rejecting sin. It is a sin to worry about anything, anytime, whatsoever. We will never know the victory over worry and anxiety until we begin to treat it as sin. For such it is. It is a deep-seated distrust of the Father, Who assures us again and again that even the falling sparrow is in His charge.”

    Forgive my sin, Lord,

    Jim Corbett

  149. HappyTrails Oct 4th 2010

    Paul…..The words you have spoken just above are the most beautiful words of GOD’S TRUTH and a REVELATION OF HIS PLAN FOR EACH OF US that thus far has not been and cannot be more clearly communicated.

    May God grant you the richness of His Glory.

  150. Kevin Oct 4th 2010

    Roger, thats a great word about the living stones.

    I would add that the true foundation in Christ was always laid down by the apostles.

    Apostles are never man made, they are called by God.

    I wonder how many potential apostles have failed to take the journey there with God, because they have camped on teaching ministries or something similar at a stage in their walk, and failed to let go and move on as God was directing ?

    With out the restoration of the apostolic ministry it as hard to see anything much changing.

    I believe the Lord showed me a while back that every believer in Christ who walked all the way to maturity and victory in Christ would operate in apostolic gifts, because Christ was the apostolic gift from God to us, and as Christ truly rules us from within, we will do as He did and even greater things.

  151. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    HAPPYTRAILS and PAUL,
    - does the ‘baptism of suffering’ speak to you..?

    In Jesus our Lord,
    Roger

  152. Sally Oct 4th 2010

    Very encouraged by so many who are leaving the established church system. I too am being drawn out and have for some time now been dissatisfied and often appalled by what I’ve seen and heard.

    Especially appreciated Mary’s words. I currently only have one girlfriend whom I can spiritually relate to who longs for the deeper things of God just as I do.

    My husband and I are praying fervently about how to reach out to our neighbors and community. We know the needs are great. We long to find others locally who are just as hungry for Jesus. We believe He will lead us to them.

    We have just recently left our church for many of the reasons relayed here by others (fluff, building programs, entertainment-type worship, being ignored, everyone too buys in their “programs,” etc.).

    Blessings to you all! Continue to look to Jesus!

  153. Sally Oct 4th 2010

    LouAnn said – “You have to pray my dear and ask the Lord to direct you to the right church, it can be a gathering in a house of saints that have the same passion as you Susan, but there’s has to be a leader, and there has to be a place where the word of God is preached and tithes are being paid.”

    I would ask that you be open LouAnn to what the Lord is doing here. Is the current church system even accurate according to God’s Word? There has to be a leader, preaching, and tithes given?

    Please allow me to say that I respectfully disagree. I don’t believe there has to be a leader, a preacher, or tithes. We are Christ’s body. Where two or more are gathered in His name, there He will be in the midst. This is church – the gathering together of two or more believers.

    As someone else mentioned, pure and undefiled religion is to visit the fatherless and widow (from James). I believe the gathering together of believers (“forsake not the assembling together of yourselves”) is for the purpose of encouraging, admonishing, and praying for one another.

    Does there need to be an ordered “service” and preaching, or can two or more simply gather together to encourage, pray, and testify of what God is doing in their lives?

    Tithes paid? Is this necessary? Would it not be more simple to give directly to the poor instead of paying money so a preacher can get a salary?

    (Now I know this may be too “weird” and unusual for many of you to chew on, but please be open and prayerful about what I’m saying here.)

    I believe we are to meet together with other believers to pray, sing, and share testimony and scripture, then we go forth and minister to the hurting and desperate as the Lord leads. What an invigorating way to live our lives in service to our King! Our time away from other believers is spent seeking our Master and doing what He says to reach the lost and give of ourselves to the fatherless and widows.

    Why does the gathering of believers include the lost? They can be attended to by other means outside of the body of believers – one on one at work, on the streets, in a store, in their home or yours.

    Just a thought! Bless you all!

  154. Andrew Oct 4th 2010

    I really liked this comment, Sally-

    “I believe we are to meet together with other believers to pray, sing, and share testimony and scripture, then we go forth and minister to the hurting and desperate as the Lord leads. What an invigorating way to live our lives in service to our King!”

    AMEN!!

    But there is also a vital place for “preaching” and leadership in a true New Testament church. In fact, we never see the true church without these in Scripture.

    -Andrew.

  155. HappyTrails Oct 4th 2010

    sally……You are getting it…….keep following Jesus ONLY, don’t be afraid.

  156. Andrew Oct 4th 2010

    HappyTrails – in the New Testament we clearly see “Elders” and “Overseers”. We also see clearly that there are “teachers, shepherds, apostles, prophets, evangelists” – all of whom preach and lead in various ways.

    Do you believe in this?

    Or do you oppose the New Testament?

    God bless you! – Andrew

  157. Sally Oct 4th 2010

    Andrew – I’m not against having leadership, and I am happy to submit to godly leaders. Yes, leadership and preaching is biblical, and this is the ideal situation for the believer, but many of us have been burned time after time and cannot find godly leadership we trust who will seek God first.

  158. HappyTrails Oct 4th 2010

    Roger…..The “baptism of suffering” has been interpreted many ways by man. Which way are you referring to?

    Then there is God’s way of interpreting the baptism of suffering. Romans 8:17

    Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

    The following article by Thomas Watson details the biblical “baptism of suffering”.

    oChristian.com

    christian articles

    http://articles.ochristian.com/article12316.shtml

    The Beatitudes 21. Concerning Persecution

    By Thomas Watson

  159. Andrew Oct 4th 2010

    Yes – sadly I totally agree, Sally.
    The church has a desperate need for “good shepherds”.

    Look at all these testimonies (above)!

    So terribly sad.

    -Andrew.

  160. HappyTrails Oct 4th 2010

    Andrew says to Happy Trails:
    ” in the New Testament we clearly see “Elders” and “Overseers”. We also see clearly that there are “teachers, shepherds, apostles, prophets, evangelists” – all of whom preach and lead in various ways.

    Do you believe in this?”

    Happy Trails comment:
    I do believe this……..JUST NOT ORGANIZED BY MAN.

    Modern Man sees these Gifts from God ALL LINED UP IN AND UNDER ONE ASSEMBLY and ALL FOLLOWING A FORMULA THAT CAN BE BACKED UP BY GOD’S WRITTEN WORD. Then Modern Man EXPECTS GOD TO HONOR THE WRITTEN WORD AND “SHOW UP”.

    God moves His individual followers, INDIVIDUALLY AS GOD WILLS, to where His Kingdom is battling the Kingdom of Darkness.

    God’s Kingdom is literally on the move, so we must be freed from the ties to this world to be able to FOLLOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

  161. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    HAPPYTRAILS – baptism of suffering as mentioned in Newbolds “The Crucified ones” on http://www.christineboudreau.ca/newbold/index.html

    I agree with your posts too – we must be led by the Spirit of God, and may I suggest that is happening now..? Many who are united in Jesus through His Spirit are moving when told, speaking what we are told to speak and going where we are told to go.. all directed by God’s Will..

    In Jesus our Lord,
    Roger

  162. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Sally – Scripture clearly say we must turn to the Lord Jesus first, yes you are right He IS the only one that we can trust completely – He is the one who will introduce us to other individuals who are also following only Jesus..

    HappyTrials – I meant also to say, yes, suffering God’s way – as in Rom.8:17. There is no other way that is acceptable.

    Be encouraged both of you, our God reigns and His will, will be accomplished,
    Roger

  163. Roger,
    Yes the baptism of suffering speaks to me.
    4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: 5 and ye have forgotten the exhortation which reasoneth with you as with sons, My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, Nor faint when thou art reproved of him; 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb 12:4-6

    God has planted the seed of Christ. This is not the letter, but the truth of the spirit that only the Father can reveal. This seed produces the fruit, “Christ in you the hope of glory” “some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold and some a hundredfold”

    In order to produce a hundred fold the fruit of Christ, that is his nature, character and authority of Christ, all of our old man must die.

    25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matt 16:24-25

    This is the baptism of our sufferings that leads to the resurrected life of Christ. But what does this mean. It means “turn again”

    12 that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them Mark 4:11-12

    And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them. Matt 13:15

    For example everybody on this site has seems to have some light they are walking in. Yet many of us still have things in our old nature that are not seeds of truth that will produce Christ. If you see these in others do not judge. We can only walk in the light we have. There are seeds of traditions and imaginations of man as well as sins that have been hidden in chambers of our heart not yet exposed to the truth of God’s word. We must turn again when these are revealed or we cannot produce Christ. When God shines the light of his word to reveal these truths we must turn again.
    We are the clay and he is the potter turning again and again from our old ways of thinking as God reveals to us more truth. But what happens when you stop applying the water of the word. The clay hardens. What happens when the clay stops turning. It stops being molded. But in order for the clay to be perfected it must be tried in the furnace.
    he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor; and he will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire. Matt 3:11-12

    When your mind has been washed by the truth of the water of the word and you have turned again from your sins and imaginations God will try you in the furnace of affliction to establish you unmovable on the promise of his word. The fire will produce in you an unwavering faith as it burns away what is left of the old man of sin.

    12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: 13 but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13

    God is not a man that he should lie. He is your salvation put your trust in him alone. The work of our baptism and resurrection is a finished work. Look back and see it done. Receive the gift of his salvation, His will and ability to stand in faith and waiver not.

    13 for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Phil 2:13

    We must suffer the death of the old man through the fiery trial of our faith, ceasing from our works so that we may receive the resurrected life of Christ in us to will and work for his good pleasure.

    1 Forasmuch then as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm ye yourselves also with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 1 Peter 4:1

  164. all to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 4th 2010

    To all who have been called out:

    Matthew 18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Revelation 2:25
    But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

    James 1:3-5

    3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

    4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

    5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    We are in training Body of Christ!! The Truth is being revealed to those who seek Him. So be patient, watch and pray, Hold fast to the Truth, The One Who saved you, Jesus Christ and His salvation with your faith!!! Don’t be afraid of what you see the apostate church do. They were prophysied long ago. Remember, not to grumble and complain about them. They are part of God’s plan. Be aware, for it is by the Grace of God that has been poured out on those who beleive the Truth and have come out. Forgive those who have persecuted you, not for thier sakes but for yours to the Glory of God. We are being protected, and we are abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. This thing has to come to pass. The wheat and the tares are being readied for seperation. God is preparing His Bride, we are in the dressing room, and soon our Savior will call us to the marriage supper, so don’t allow yourselves to be dogged down by this apostasy. Rejoice Look up our redemption draweth nigh!!

  165. Blessings from Down Under :-]

    Being part of a bonafide, organic house church for 10 years has spoiled me for ‘business as usual’. Since returning to the organised church, aka, ‘the system’ , I have never really fitted in. (Despite leading worship / being a musician).

    I believe most of our Christian bros and sisters ARE sincere – they’re just not IN TOUCH WITH GOD. “Ignorance is bliss.” They need DIS-illusionment, their eyes opened.

    Many churches here in NZ have jumped onto the ‘Pursuit of Excellence’, ‘Purpose Driven’ or ‘Prosperity Doctrine’ bandwagons. They are either ‘seeker-friendly’ to the point where we walk on eggshells so as not to offend anybody … or so performance-oriented that we feel used to run a multitude of programs, and hurt, and devalued.

    “Holy Spirit, come & visit. Come & fill your people up
    once again.” (-lyric from my album ‘BLUE SUNDAY’.)

  166. Mrs Luther Oct 4th 2010

    For what it is worth I agree with ALL Sally said, and Andrew added the correct answer to add to Sallys making them both complete in their truth (in my opinion) and Ray fully explained the problem with the established, run by the arm of flesh churches
    contaminated by what he said.

    And there Houston we have THE problem.

    Maybe with more persecution coming to the world, more mammon stripped away, all the idols we counted on are removed, then people will start to panic and seek and enquire, and then those who have already gone ahead and entered into the kingdom of God within, the Holy of Holies, that have entered into that rest, will be able to minister as in the New Testament to all that God leads them to, and Andrew the years where there seems to be a waste, there is no waste in God, as we have obeyed as we have had insight and enlightenment, He has been preparing ones for such a time as this.

  167. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Andrew – I dont know how you can say that these testimonies are sad…

    Look at the above four:
    - Paul, Thankyou for answering, we agree,
    - Raymond, Greetings in Jesus from a fellow Shaky Islander
    - “All to Him my Blessed Saviour”, Amen, focus on the person of Christ and trust in Him, do not let apostasy distract
    - HappyTrails, Yes indeed, God is on the move and His Will, will be done.

    – all four of these are speaking truth, and all are following the only Shepherd – Jesus Christ our Lord.

    ..and thats only the last four – there are many others saying the same thing.

    This isn’t sad.. Jesus Christ is leading His flock, He is gathering His people, He is training, He is preparing..

    All we have to do is focus totally on Him and agree that His Will be done, He will take care of the rest.

    Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

    In Jesus Christ,
    Roger

  168. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Apologies Mrs Luther – you added your post whilst I was typing..

  169. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Apologies Mrs Luther – you added your post whilst I was typing, and having quickly just read yours, I add it to my list on NOT sad testimonies..

    Roger

  170. Andrew Oct 4th 2010

    I think the state of the church and what many churches have been doing is very sad, Roger..

    Sorry

    Andrew

  171. Roger Souden Oct 4th 2010

    Aaah.. understand now.

    ..and I think we both know that it is because man has laid hands on God’s plan for His son, and twisted Scripture to suit ‘self’ that has contributed to satan’s scheme.

    Which is why we all need to allow Jesus Christ our Lord to lead us in all truth.. ..seriously, now is the time for us to do that.

    In Jesus,
    Roger

  172. Praise the Lord for Pastor Mac’s testimony.

    I love the way you said that you were “tolerated”. I know how that feels. Isn’t it a huge blessing to be tolerated and yet remain humble? Isn’t a huge blessing to be tolerated and know that they oppose Christ and not yourself??

    Satan so hates those that get sold out, he does all he can to run them out for he hates to be exposed and wants to continue to work in darkness amongst the people. There he has made his abode, and there he does everything he can to keep his foot in the door in that place.

    Seems to me that you and your wife have been learning the spiritual warfare that goes on for truth to be brought to the minds and hearts of the people.

    Oh the road is full of opposition, but it is the only way for those that take up their cross daily and follow after Him.

    May the Lord continue to bless you and use you both in a mighty way. That you may walk honestly and transparently before Him with all of your hearts. Of course, in secret where the accolades of men are naught is the higher way, and the way that brings greater spiritual authority in Him. :) Amen.

    love,
    Sarah

  173. Mrs Luther Oct 4th 2010

    Then again Heresies need to be there, to test.

    Roger said. Man has laid his hands on it and twisted scripture, but doesn’t the Word say that while we slept the enemy came in, and it also says that because some did not love the truth, they went after those who would tickle ears, you all know what I am saying, so it is fleshly man that heaps to himself teaches of such things that we enjoy, others, are like, ‘no way Hose’ …. time to DEPART.

    and thus we are all here chating one on one, and mulling it all over….which takes me back to … the time is coming very soon, when things will be SHAKEN big time….VERY VERY soon…

  174. Mrs Luther Oct 4th 2010

    Actually so soon, I am waiting to hear it on the news…
    I have one ear poised listening….seriously

  175. Ken Arrand Oct 4th 2010

    Happy Trails says “keep following Jesus only”

    I have found this is essential and have lived by it! The Bible tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), to consider Jesus (think on) (Hebrews 3: 1), without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), Jesus is our provider etc. We let His Holy Spirit lead us and guide us.

    I am of the view that Biblically elders, teachers, apostles, prophets etc are recognised by area/location (small or large and dol vary over time!) rather than denomination/type/sect.

    How do these elders/teachers…. fit in? An example: The Holy Spirit might lead you from one spiritual teacher etc to another depending on what that teacher is being led by the Holy Spirit to teach (or what their ministry is or strength), where you are spiritually etc. When coming under their “ministry”, because that is where you believe the Holy Spirit has led you, you submit to their ministry as the spiritual teacher must give account to God for those the Holy Spirit brings and leads to his teaching (Hebrews 13: 17). When the Holy Spirit leads you on, you move. Those who are children of God are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14)

    God can not be put in a box and there are many, many variations. The key, for me, is to keep your eyes on Jesus and be led by His Spirit. Life will be full of surprises!! Relax and get to know Jesus!

  176. Louann1486 Oct 4th 2010

    Look,
    I strongly agree with what most of you are saying here on this thread. I believe in house meetings, but I still believe there has to be a leader, tithings have to be paid according to the book of Malachi 3:10, in the old testament, the Lord said that the first fruit is holy unto HIM, so we must be obedient when it comes to HIS commands.
    What about water baptisms, we can not forget about that because Jesus said to go and teach nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
    Peter obeyed on the day of pentecost when he gave God’s plan of salvation when he stated Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    The people gladly receive his word and were baptized the same day…
    and they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine.
    in verse 46 says And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
    I too am thinking about leaving the organize church after listening to your experiences and remembering mine.
    One church that I attended eliminated water baptisms altogether and was always begging for money.
    Another church, well they eliminated prayer meetings and on holidays we would miss church to spend time with families, sometimes the messages would be short, no annointing, no power and during altar services I see people going up for prayer to desperately receive their healings but will return to their pew with the same problem they had when they’ve gone up there.
    This older black lady who was raising me in this way told me about a lady that attended a church she was going to was having a house meeting back in the late 70′s, and how she use to pray people through to receive the Holy Ghost. They would pray, testify, sing, worship, and those that were bound- well, after attending one of those house meetings they would leave full of the Holy Ghost and free of the spirits that bound him or her for so many years.
    I believe house meeting would be beneficial, but we have to make sure it does not turn out to be a social gathering because it can easily happen.
    But until a house meeting is formed, one would have to pray and wait on the Lord and be lead and directed by HIM. He knows what each of us needs, HE knows our concerns and knows what is going on in these organized churches.
    So while I wait, I will continue to send my tithing to my last church and pray and wait on the Lord.
    LorettaAnn

  177. Here is some confusion brought on by ‘christianity’ which doesn’t easily match up to the Word, with ‘water baptisms’ and tithing.
    Firstly, the baptising with water is only symbolic and of the symbolism itself, is not a requirement.
    Water is very clearly illustrated in His Word right from the very beginning of Genesis, right up to the end of Revelation, as it is representitive of truth or lies/death, if it is not pure water.
    When we spend time with Him in His word, we are being cleansed with the water of His truth, as He symbolically washed the feet of the Disciples to complete the cleansing process. THey had been with Him for years and were daily washed clean in His presence.
    The ‘changing of the waters’ is vital to a spiritual relationship with the Lord. We change from the seawaters of death, which we are all born into, to be replaced by the living waters of His truth and the breath of His Spirit back into us upon repentance of sins and submitting oneself to the Lord.
    Tithing is a whole other thread I would imagine. The 10% rules is OT and a part of the law which we no longer live under. Jesus gives us the example of the ‘widows mite’ on how we should ‘tithe’. We are to give ALL THAT WE HAVE to Him as we would not have even this if it were not because the Lord provided it to us. Paying money as a ‘rule’ or ‘legalism’ in christianity is akin to rebellion to the Lord Himself if He did not lead us to contribute to these ‘buildings’ and their overheads.
    Anything we give to anyone or organization, needs to be led by the Holy Spirit, but what we have is provided by Him and therefore He should have complete control over where it all goes. If for some reason He tells you to give to a specific ‘building’, then obey and do so. If He does not lead you to do so, wait on Him for direction. Mankind always goes about his business thinking the Lord wants this or that to be done but truthfully, that is not always the case.

    Patience and waiting upon Him in His perfect timing is where we all need to seek Him and repent for doing things our way or the ‘churches way’, instead of believing only Him as ‘The Way’.

    In His Service and blessings to all,
    Believer

  178. Ken Arrand Oct 4th 2010

    LorettaAnn I see you as correct in many aspects. Pray and wait on the Lord and be led and directed by Him. Yes and Amen to that!

    Water baptisms can take place in a home setting easily here, in Zimbabwe. Many of us have swimming pools or rivers close by. That can be used if in a home group setting.

    In home groups you also have leaders but they, hopefully, are more led by the Holy Spirit with more sound teaching. Home groups do not need but we bring food/drink for tea coffee and cake!

    As for tithing. If you look closely at the Old Testament, tithing was always food/drink! This is not the place for detail but read Deuteronomy chapters 12 and 14 for the two types of tithe. One is given once a year and the other once every 3 years. The “church” system have taught incorrectly because they NEED your MONEY to survive so the church system has to spiritualise “Tithe” to equal “Money” but it doesn’t!! Malachi 3: 10 says to bring the FOOD into the storehouses (the 2nd type of tithe) so that there would be FOOD- blessing is increase of FOOD. It was literal i.e. food = food!! They had money but they did not tithe money only food! That is a whole different subject. EVERY reference to tithe is food/drink!

    In the New Testament God wants a relationship with us, He wants us to KNOW Him. So the NT teaches us to let the Holy Spirit lead us in giving (time, money, food, etc) based on His Word. The poor is often mentioned, family needs, widows, orphans etc. Give where God shows. Learn His heart beat. Get to know your Lord through obedient promptings as His Spirit leads. This might even open doors for your “out of church” new beginnings!

    Enjoy the new walk with Jesus getting to know Him!

  179. all to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 4th 2010

    God Bless you LorettaAnn,
    I understand where you are coming from. We used to “tithe” to our “favorite ministry” until the Lord showed us that we were taught wrongly on the tithe. Malachi 3:10 was a directive to the Jewish nation and it was a tithe of crops. The tithe was too be used by the Priests to give out to the people when there was a need of food in the community. Because of Jesus’ sacrafice we are all now priests and it is our responsibility to distribute this help. Not just the “leaders” of the “church”. The New Testament now says we are too feed the poor, take care of the widows and the orphans, and above all we are to take care of our families when there is a need.
    1 Timothy 5:8
    But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    I know the tithe thing has been a “bone of contention” too many in the Body of Christ. It’s false teaching and an ignorance of the Word and History of…..that has put many under bondage to this false doctrine. I beleive that if God has placed you in a true fellowship, led by Godly leadership and you are directed to “give” there, then by all means do, but if it is just to keep a covenant that makes the leadership richer and you poorer, well, you get my drift!!

  180. Ken Arrand Oct 4th 2010
  181. Sally Oct 4th 2010

    I believe water baptism is a command, and why wouldn’t we want to obey in this area. Jesus Himself was baptized in water. I don’t believe this was simply symbolic.

    Concerning tithes – Thank you Ken for that explanation (as well as “all to Him my blessed Savior”). I too believe that tithing has been inaccurately taught. In my most recent church, it was taught relentlessly (“You won’t be blessed unless you obey in this are.”) and testimonies were even given to how God blessed someone once they started to tithe. It’s even debated whether to tithe on gross income or net.

    My husband and I have always tithed. However, I have questioned for awhile whether this teaching was in error. Knowing the Malachi scripture, “Bring the tithes into the storehouse” made me wonder, “Well, what is the storehouse?.”

    Makes perfect sense what you’re saying, Ken.

    How can a pastor stand in the pulpit and condemn and admonish people to give when their very salary is a part of that tithe? (Lost people see this, and other things, many times better than Christians)

    We have also been pressured to give to missions constantly. I don’t oppose missions. However, I do believe there is a lot of heresy in that area as well. I’m tired of being pressured for money. If the work is of God, God will provide. Simply stating the need is sufficient.

    We are leaving our present church just in time for the new “building program.” UGH! Over a million dollars going to a new building when financial times are going to only get tougher. This money could go to truly help the hurting and needy and/or prepare shelter for those in times to come.

    This is why I don’t believe tithing (or giving money of any sort) should be a part of church. The pastors feel pressured to preach a certain way or certain ones will leave; thus, their money is lost. ETC, ETC, ETC.

  182. Louann1486 Oct 4th 2010

    Then I have to do more studying about tithing and about baptism in water,but I want to share something with you all.
    When I use to be a Marketing Unit Director with the bank, I was on straight commission, my job was to sell credit card machines/ check readers and set my clients up with Woodforest Bank as their processor.
    I was in church at that time, and when the time came for me to get paid, I would pay my bills, buy food and whatever is left, I would “TRY” to pay my tithes. After doing that a few times, things got hard for me to the point I was’nt making sales anymore (this was before I learned the importance of tithing)
    Therefore, I was forced to go and get a real job and the quickest one I could get was at a restaurant making $2.12 per hour plus tips, this was in the year of 2004.
    My rent of $450.00 was due folks, I was working the night shift that Friday and when I got home Saturday,I sat in the middle of my bed, counted my tips, took God’s portion out and I raised it up toward the ceiling and prayed out loud and said,”Lord, here is your portion- you know my rent is due and I don’t have near the amount that I need to pay it, but I will trust you Lord”
    That was it, well that Saturday, my pastor and his wife were in California at a conference and before the evangelist preached, my pastor got up to say a few words and was talking about this sister in his church who love to worship the Lord and how she inspired a lot of our people who has been there a while to worship, and he mentioned my name, the new lady who just started attending our church.
    The Lord touched the evangelist wife and had her to pull out her check book to write me a check for $500.00 and gave it to my pastor wife. That was the Saturday I gave God His portion and told HIM that I will trust HIM.
    That Sunday before services started, the pastors wife told me that she wanted to see me after services, well after the service, she handed me the check for $500.00 from that evangelist wife.
    Now, my rent was $450.00, I cashed the check, took the $50.00 out for the tithes and paid my rent.
    I have something else I want to share with you,
    LorettaAnn

  183. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Before I worked as a Marketing Unit Director, I was also a Marketing Consultant in 1996, again working on straight commission.
    Still did not know the importance of paying tithes but through the years was taught to pay them, so I use to mail 10% of my net to my parents because I was not in church then and was a alcoholic. I was making a lot of sales, the company’s top producer. But for a whole week, maybe 2 I was not making a lot of sales and my bills were due.
    One night at home, I pulled out my bible and read a few scriptures, the Lord inspired me to pay my tithes. I called my parents and told them that I have to send my tithing to church and they said it was ok, but I told them that I will still send them something.
    With the little money I had, I sent 10% to this very small holiness church.
    Sales started coming in and next thing I know, a client of mine called and I had a $9,000 deal, where my commission on that deal was 10%. I was back on top again.
    LorettaAnn

  184. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    A lady at my church, did not know I was having financial problems, but the Lord touched her and at the end of the service, she handed me $400.00 crisp hundred dollar bills.
    I was in the prayer room praying, a lady came to me, tapped me on my shoulder and slipped me $100.00
    And when I went back into the sanctuary, an older sister, slipped me $50.00
    A brother, passing by me when I was sitting on my pew, shook my hand and slipped me $100.00
    It’s all because of tithing. Now let me share one more testimony.
    The job that I had as a marketing consultant, I decided to quit it because the company started getting crooked, got greedy and started taking advantage of senior people, I no longer wanted to be a part of that so the Lord lead me to quit.
    Well, here in Texas if you quit a job, you do not qualify for unemployment. So I had no money, no food, out looking for a job and could not find one.
    One day I went on a job interview and on my way back home, I was driving very slowly and looking at the street, I prayed audibly and said “Lord, the reason I am looking at the ground is because I am trying to find money, Lord, I need money, if you would just get me $100.00, that would be sufficient”
    After I got home and was there for maybe about 3 hours, I got hungry, I walked across to the apartment in front of mine and asked my neighbor if he could loan me $5.00 to get something to eat and to put a little gas in my car, he quickly gave it to me and said that I don’t have to pay it back.
    I put $2.50 in my car and $2.50 I ate on. When I got back home, had my bath, and was getting ready for bed, there was a knock on my door and it was about 10:30 that night.
    It was the same neighbor that loaned me the $5.00, but he was a little drunk.He said he wanted to talk with me and I told him that I could not let him in, he said that was ok, he said that he just wanted to give me something-
    He raised up $100.00 bill and told me to take it, he said that I don’t have to pay it back and there are no strings attached, at the door I started praising the Lord and I thanked him and I went back inside.
    Now, the Lord answered my prayer, I asked the Lord for $100.00, HE gave it plus $5.00 for good measure.
    It is all because I paid my tithing, and because I decided to leave a job that would cause me to step out of my character.
    LorettaAnn
    I have one more thing I want to share with you in regards to water baptism.

  185. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    When I first got re-baptized in 1993, I did it out of obedience because the people that was working the altar showed me scriptures, therefore without a real understanding, I did it.
    Many years later, I was attending a different apostolic church on the other side of town and when you join another apostolic church, the first thing they ask is have you been baptized, and what formula was used over you.
    So I became a member and was there for about 1 or 2 years. Reading my bible, the Lord gave me a better understanding about water baptism.
    I called my friend who lived in Memphis,TN and told her that I will be coming out there in a few days.She was excited and I told her that I was not coming out there to socialize, I coming to be buried. She was confused and asked me what did I mean and I told her that the Lord gave me a better understanding about this water baptism and I want to come out there and get baptized but this time with the understanding.
    To make a long story short, we found a church that we attended that night, we had foot washing, the Lord’s supper and the baptism.
    The pastor ordered the ladies to take me upstairs and get me ready for the baptism.
    As they were helping me to get into the white baptism garments, the Lord was speaking to me the whole time and HE said ” these are your burial clothes, when they took me to the baptistry and after I got into the water, the Lord had me to put in mind that I am getting buried, the men crossed my hands across my chest and dumpted me, when I went into the water, I had the mindset of actually being buried and when I came up, I spoke in tongues and I felt like a brand new person.
    Listen folks, it is not the water, but the act of obedience and it is symbolic of being buried and you know what else, when you get baptized in Jesus name according to Acts 2:38, something spiritual takes place afterward.
    So, I do not see that being taken away, my experience was to real and to wonderful to eliminate.
    I’m done now, and the reason for so many posts is because it would have been to long, so I wanted to make it easier by breaking up my posts.
    LorettaAnn

  186. Llewelyn Stevenson Oct 5th 2010

    I have not read the many comments here because I find they cloud the issue. My heart goes out to people such as these, but I am so far away from them I feel a little helpless except to offer my empathy. I have a vision of what I believe the New Testament Church reveals itself to be, and I would love to see it expressed everywhere.

    I wonder if you would take a little time to see things from my point of view. I am a leader in our fellowship, but I am not. By this I mean I was not appointed to the position, I kinda-sorta-just “filled” it. [that probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but if you understood my view of the church in operation it would help.]

    A family comes to church saying they are seeking fellowship but they leave because we don’t have a Sunday school/children’s church [My son 13 years is the only unmarried person in the church] and don’t fulfill their requirement.

    A couple come into church with so much potential [I love them, "Whoohoo. Now somethings may happen"] but in 3 weeks they’re gone because nothing’s happening though they didn’t participate in bringing about the changes I’m trying to install. They have past but not present experience.

    A guitarist comes into the church [great. Now I don't have to do everything so badly. Someone else can step in and lead worship while I concentrate on helping others fill their place in the body] but before you know it… he’s gone too.

    Now all of these will give you their reasons for leaving and not staying, starting with, “there’s no anointing” [not true], “There’s no miracles” [not true]. “The leadership is wrong” [how do you resign your position in a body? I'll gladly do it.]

    The truth is I feel as left out by you as you do by me, and all I’m trying to do is encourage and love you.

    I hope someone can comfort me too.

    Kerry.

  187. all to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 5th 2010

    LorettaAnn,
    God blesses a heart that is toward Him! It is always the motive of the heart that He looks upon. If you give with a joyful heart He will bless.
    2 Corinthians 9:7
    Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

    Experiences are wonderful in Lord. However, we don’t live according to those experiences. We live according to Gods Word. The Word is our standard to weigh what is of God and what is not. Keep seeking Him dear Sister!! Keep praising Him!!! He loves you!!

  188. all to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 5th 2010

    Kerry, My heart aches with you!! I will pray that our Lord will bring those to you that He has called. It used to be footbal, baseball, and Sunday dinner ect. that kept most people out of church. Sometimes it still does. But, now it has changed as satan’s devices are getting more cunning and subtle. The ones you have described here are seeking experiences not seeking Jesus Christ. Pray for them, and let it go. Stay on your face before Him, whether you have 2 or 2 million attending.

    Matthew 18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Luke 15:4
    What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

    Go out Pastor, seek that which is lost. For the sheep know His voice and another they will not follow. As i said before, The Lord of the harvest is readying the seperation of the whea from the tares.
    Make yourself available too all who seek Him. Check your motives, and stay pure before Him. Please understand, I am not saying you have wrong motives and i would never attempt to know a mans heart, only God knows our hearts. Just some advice from an out of church person, who has been called out of the system.
    I am praying for you. God Bless you

  189. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Whenever I give, it is always cheerfully. And as far as tithing, I always give from the gross, before taxes are taken out. Uncle Sam get’s his right off the top.
    We were taught in the past 10% tithe 5% offering but sometimes we give over and above and we do not do it out of necessity, we do it because we want to.
    Some of you may be angry with me, but that’s ok, I still love you and God gives us choices, so I can not be mad at you for your choices and you can not be mad at me for my choices, now we’re even (smile)
    All I can tell you is read my testimony above, and other’s who were blessed and sustained all because of obedience. The tithes belong to God, old and new testament folks, we have to eat the whole scroll.
    Not talking about you all but there were people in a church that I attended years ago who would treat God’s word like a buffet, or cafeteria. They would go through the line of God’s word and choose this and choose that and no, I don’t like that but we can use this and make a doctrine out of it.
    “NO” eat it all, just take little bites of HIS word and if there is something in HIS word that you do not particularly agree with or have a hard time grasping it or feel a little uncomfortable, just keep eating my dear brothers and sisters until it taste good to ya.
    Tithing and baptism and everything in HIS word we are obligated to obey, just pray and ask God to lead and guide you. “Hey” that is what I’m doing and if I am in error, Well Lord correct me, show me, reveal what your word is saying so that I can have a better understanding.
    House church to me is a wonderful thing, I believe God can move in a situation like that, because in a church type building, there has to be a program, a schedule, various positions therefore in a situation like that which is organized, my oh my how in tarnation can God have HIS way in an organized, structured situation. So I am all for house churches praise the Lord.
    This friend of mine who lives in TN was having meetings in her home, she would get up early in the morning and pray, read her bible, leave her apartment with her tracts and go to the store parking lot, or to the mall and hand out tracts and witness a lot of people.
    She would always encourage the ones that she witness to to get re-baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins.
    When they agree to being re-baptized, she would take them to her apartment pool and baptize them there or at there pool, because if you wait till Sunday, that person could change their mind.
    Today, I do not know of anyone who are having house meetings, so I am searcjomg the internet and praying for God’s guidance.
    I love you all so dearly my brothers and sisters, you all are so precious.
    LorettaAnn

  190. PMARKW Oct 5th 2010

    I didn’t read all the comments, but even as an associate pastor, I share many of the same feelings that the majority shared in the main email. Something is happening with our churches. It may be they have to die before an authentic remnant can rise among them and proclaim a true Gospel that has nothing to do with the flesh and it’s accomplishments. God help us!
    Mark W.

  191. Andrew Oct 5th 2010

    I really value your comments, PMarkW and Llewellyn – because you are coming at this from a “leadership” position – and still seeing so many things that need “change”. I find this everywhere. Perhaps there is a “holy dissatisfaction” across the board that will lead to something great that God wants to do.

    He will take us all there I believe – “in-church” or ‘out’ – if we are willing.

    God bless you!

    Andrew

  192. Sally Oct 5th 2010

    Thank you for sharing your story, LorettaAnn.

    I for one am not against tithing. I simply believe that it has been done wrong and preached about wrong. My questions are – “What really is the tithe for? I know it is 10% of all our increase. Does this mean we give 10% of our garden if we have one? Does this mean we give 10% of all our increase, no matter what that may be? And where do we give it? Where is the storehouse? Many churches are not storehouses, because they don’t give it out to the needy. What exactly is the storehouse?

    Furthermore, why isn’t it touched on in the New Testament? (Maybe it has been, and I’ve missed it…) Giving is talked about plenty, but I don’t recall anything about tithing specifically. Didn’t the early church “have all things common?”

    Until I know for sure, I’m giving to a ministry I believe in that never asks for money and who greatly helps the homeless and needy (David Wilkerson’s). He also is not afraid to preach the whole Word of God unapologetically and has a true heart for Jesus.

    I’m also giving to a local Christian food bank ministry.

    I’m not sure it matters whether tithing is right or wrong. We must have a heart to give, and God definitely gives back to us. “Give and it shall be given to you.” My main concern is the way in which it is preached so many times, and many of these churches are not using the money for God’s glory. Is it up to me to make sure I give my money wisely? And if I leave a church for valid reasons, should I still give to that church? (I’m already not giving to my former church, by the way)

  193. Andrew Oct 5th 2010

    Yes – “giving” is very important. Especially to the POOR – according to the New Testament.

    But the old Tithing laws are being used wrongly in today’s churches to manipulate the sheep. There is no sign of them using such tactics in the early church.

    However – I enjoyed your testimony Loretta, and believe it was good for us to read. Thankyou.

    -Andrew.

  194. Sharon Oct 5th 2010

    Yes that is our only hope. That we surrender our hearts and minds totally to our Lord Jesus and his leadership alone.
    There is way to much fighting over the written word. Because the living word can’t be fought over.

    Organization is what man thinks will work, but the church is a living people. Only the restraining of the holy spirit in each of us will put the body in beautiful working order.
    We must quit compairing our selves one to another.
    And for sure the money must be out of the picture. Nothing done for gain of money. Freely we have recieved, freely we give.
    I have known those who have left a church, and never a call to see what is going on. I have never expected one myself when I have left .
    Yet I have called others to encourage them to keep the faith.

  195. Chris Oct 5th 2010

    I’m sure you have gotten many replies that empathize with your situation, thoughts and feelings. I too can relate to you on multiple levels. I have no short answer. I don’t understand our LORD much of the time. One thing that may help is that you should take the focus off of yourself. You referenced yourself (I, me, my etc) nearly 30 times in your post. Stop looking for answers and embrace the Truth. – Grace and mercy

  196. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Sally,
    All I can tell you is just obey the Lord’s leadings. Let HIM direct you.
    And Chris, I was only giving my testimonies of how the Lord come through every time after paying my tithing and trusting HIM.
    I do not focus on myself, I do not know how to testify about what the Lord has done for me and not use I, me, my etc. I’m only telling about my experience and people that I was very close to.

    Andrew Strom,
    You said that the old tithing laws are being used wrongly in today’s churches to manipulate the sheep. There is no sign of them using such tactics in the early church.
    So, what is the right way when it comes to tithing?
    If I am wrong, show me please and I have no problems being corrected.
    Also Andrew I want to know if there are some Apostolic holiness home churches that you know and recommend me to check out in the Houston area near Channelview TX . You’ve read a lot of my threads and comments, therefore you have an idea where I need to be.
    To be honest with you, I never in my whole life visited a home church.
    Andrew you may email me if you like
    [email protected]

  197. Andrew Oct 5th 2010

    Giving in the NT was always from the HEART. “Tithing” as such (a 10% amount) was never instituted in the NT church at all, that we can see. No such “law” was followed that we can find in the NT.

    So everyone under the New Covenant is to give from the “heart”.

    God bless you!

    Andrew

  198. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Thank you,
    Now do you or anybody know of an apostolic home church in the Houston area?
    Who do you recommend and why
    LorettaAnn

  199. Sally Oct 5th 2010

    My questions in the above post were rhetorical mostly (not expecting an answer, really believing I know the answer already). Sorry I didn’t make that clear. I was mostly wanting to make others think and question what they’ve always believed – maybe it’s not what God expects.

    I do trust God to lead me. My husband is less able to let the tithing issue go.

  200. Andrew Oct 5th 2010

    Try contacting Darren Smith at-

    http://www.streetscapeministries.com

  201. HappyTrails Oct 5th 2010

    Ken Arrand …..Amen brother…that is a good detailed description of what I had commented in short form. Thank you.

    LouAnn1486…..I hate to burst your bubble, But God did not provide for you BECAUSE YOU TITHED.

    He provided for you because HE LOVES YOU and HE DESIRES for you to DEPEND on Him for ALL PARTS OF YOUR LIFE……..ALL YOUR NEEDS………ALL YOUR DECISIONS……..not just for money and food.

    God is PROVING TO YOU HOW MUCH HE LOVES YOU, IN THE ONLY WAY YOU UNDERSTAND.

    God PURSUES US with His love……We are in the darkness and He is in the Light. He desires us to come into the Light with Him so that He can care for you PROPERLY…… as a perfect loving Father would care for His child. Healing your broken heart, helping you overcome sin that destroys us, and caring for ALL your needs….emotional, mental, spiritual, physical.

    Turn your WHOLE heart and life over to His care…..give up the rituals, lies, and broken promises.

  202. It’s ok to leave the church you’re in, but two things concern me: Do you have at least one strong Spirit-filled friend to fellowship with? AND: Are you able to reach out to the unsaved by yourself, invite them to your home or a public-place, lead them to Christ, baptise them and pray for them to receive the Holy Ghost; then disciple them?? Or is it a case of, so long as I am ok, i don’t care what happens to the unsaved?? That may sound harsh, but its the reality of a situation, where a person leaves their church and is alone. If you do NOT feel capable of doing this-just start DOING it! In other words, God will help u as u go! Don’t be afraid. Want to obey Christ? Then do what He tells us to in Matt.28:19,20-it is the duty of EVERY believer. By the way, someone in the “comments” said that the true criterion of a God ordained pastor is that signs and wonders accompany their ministry (as with that otf the evangelist etc.): I couldn’t agree MORE. These guys quite often ARE called, but fear of looking a failure in front of their congregation inhibits them from stepping out in faith and ministering in power.

  203. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Happy Trails,
    You did not bust my bubble, my testimonies are real and not a coincidence. The Lord stated in the book of Malachi that when we pay our tithes, HE will rebuke the devourer for our sake.
    In all of my experiences that I did not pay my tithing and even when I was not thinking about it, I had financial problems or something would go wrong every time.
    And even when I’m not thinking about it or even when I am reminded, I put my trust in God and pay my tithes, I always get blessed.
    So, you did not bust my bubble, and I feel that a lot of you who responded to my comments, well it seems as though most of you are against my comments when it comes to tithing, leadership and baptism.
    But that’s ok, until the Lord show me HIMSELF in the new testament that tithing does not apply to us, I will continue to pay. I will continue to follow the leadings of the Lord.
    I talked with my pastor this evening about the different comments that were made in regards to tithing, baptism and church organization. He said that the organization protects you and our United Pentecostal Churches supports our missionary obeying the GREAT COMMAND OF JESUS CHRIST when HE said go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
    In our organization, we take part in that. Also, in an organize church such as UPC, the pastor has someone he have to give an account to. If for an example he preach a different or a false doctrine, the people can contact the UPC organization, making them aware of what he is preaching.
    As far as the tithing, I will do a lot of studying on that for myself.
    I will stay where I’m at under my fire & brimstone pastor who is very passionate for souls and the man is a prayer warrior and he have the same spirit as Jeremiah, the weeping prophet.
    I guess, I’m just one on this site that is going against the grain.
    Sorry!
    LorettaAnn

  204. Andrew Oct 5th 2010

    I think your tithing was an act of “FAITH” really by the sound of it – and it truly seems God honored it.

    Thanks Loretta!

    God bless you,

    Andrew

  205. Sally Oct 5th 2010

    Loretta – I hope you don’t think I’m against your comments. I am not in any way against you or the way you believe. If you choose to tithe, I’m sure you will be blessed. Some of these things are very personal decisions. I don’t believe tithing is wrong, but I also don’t believe it’s wrong to not tithe.

    I am simply re-thinking the way I’ve been taught all my life, as I want to follow Jesus more deeply and walk in more of His liberty.
    This is not to say that you don’t feel the same way. I believe you very sincerely want to obey God in all things and that you want to travel more deeply with our Lord as well.

    Forgive me if I have come across in any way oppositional or harsh in my comments to you.

    Blessings to you!

  206. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Thank you for your replies.
    Sally I understand that you have to re-think what you’ve been taught all of your life, I clearly understand that. You see when I was coming up in the southern baptist church, some of the preachers were not as knowledgeable as they are today, therefore most taught in error and a lot of times it was unintentional, but they were very sincere and truly loved the Lord.
    But God’s word said to seek ye first the kindom of God and all of His righteousness and all these things shall be added.
    We have to seek and get understanding of what God’s word is saying to us today.
    And something else, unintentional error preaching are passed down from generations and are inherited. Since we know this, then it is time to re-think, analyze, study.
    “All” read God’s word, but “all” have their own personal opinion of what God’s word is saying.
    But the scary thing is, if you sit under a leader who’s unintentionally preach in error, and you don’t investigate and read God’s word for yourself to make sure what he is saying is correct according to what God reveals to you, his error preaching could sound so right and be soooo wrong.
    And his wrong preaching could change your eternal destination and his to. So it is very important, to study God’s word, but include HIM always in your studying, asking HIM to open up your understanding as to what HIS word is saying and HE will.
    If HE does not give it to you then, keep living and in your living HE will show you what it means, could be in a real example.
    So all I am telling you is, don’t be so quick in receiving and accepting someone else’s opinions because it can be wrong, then again it can be right but “YOU” have to investigate yourself. It is your responsibility folks.
    LorettaAnn

    .

  207. Galatians 3:10-12

    “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

    Tithing is an Old Covenant law that was given to the Israelite nation, and when they tithed it was not money, it was food and live stock. They tithed to the Levitical priests in the temple to take care of them. There is no longer a Levitical priesthood or a temple. We are the temple of God and we have a New Covenant that is spiritual not physical.

  208. Sally Oct 5th 2010

    Loretta – I’m not quite following what you last wrote…All of it, but especially this part…

    “Don’t be so quick in receiving and accepting someone else’s opinions because it can be wrong, then again it can be right but “YOU” have to investigate yourself. It is your responsibility folks.”

    I believe I’m doing just that…

  209. I know that much of the church has missed it…But I want to encourage those who are searching for more. It seems we have been going through a time of testing, like a wilderness time…We are being shown that we are nothing without Him! And that when He shows up we know it was not by mans power, but only by the Spirit of the Lord, by His mercy and grace. All we can do is what we know to do, and as we make Jesus our focus He will lead us and guid us by His eye. He has others out there, keep searching…
    One thing that we need to look for in a church is that the leadership is not some High archy, not controling, but being like the true five fold ministery, eqipping the saints to arise and be the church God called us to be, to shine as a light and be the salt of the earth that is about the vision of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  210. Kevin Oct 5th 2010

    We are told not to go against our conscience , when we are surrendered , spirit filled believers, because that would be to go against Christ, and we are told not to let our walk and beliefs upset the faith of other followers of Christ.

    So in the discussions about tithing , we are all going to go with what we know unless we get otherwise from our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We shouldn’t let issues like tithing cause division .

    After all, if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died for our sins, to make peace between us and God, we shouldn’t let differences of doctrine potentially upset the faith of anyone our Lord Jesus Christ died for.

    Praise to our Glorious Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

  211. impact360 Oct 5th 2010

    I was just having a conversation with my sister in the Lord today about how I have not yet been able to find a biblically balanced church, either they swing so far one way or the other, and then I got this email. Praise God I’m not alone feeling the same way.
    I live in Calgary and it would be great if I could get together with Dorie, I love the Lord, the Word, I hold onto the Truth, and I’m not into any strange stuff that is so prevalent in many churches, yet I’m not afraid of a true move of the Spirit and I love to worship the LORD.
    Perhaps we can get together and fellowship.
    my email: bakerbumblebee@hotmail.co[email protected]

  212. Louann1486 Oct 5th 2010

    Sally
    please excuse me but did you read all of my post? It explains why I made the last statement of not quickly accepting everybodys opinions until you investigate yourself.
    In other words, we all have our own interpretation of what God’s word says, some will be right and some will be wrong.
    When discussing scriptures from the bible, I quietly listen to what each person says about it, not quickly accepting until I get alone and pray that the Lord will open up my understanding and then I open up my bible and my Strongs concordance together and investigate what God’s word is saying.
    If it is not revealed to me then, God will in HIS own time, just through living, HE will show me, either on a billboard, my hear it through a song, maybe in a movie etc. some kind of way, HE will remind me and show me what that particular scripture says.
    God is awesome.
    LorettaAnn

  213. Arnold Oct 5th 2010

    It’s been my experience that – there are groups of ‘churches’ out there that are definitely abusing, misleading, Christ-less, Gospel-less which is terrible God predicted this would happen – and – we should be running from and rebelling against. God in His Grace allows His children to go through these experiences to humble us, be ‘sandpaper’ to us, show us our utter depravity apart from Christ and teach us many things as a result. As a former New Ager, I know that you can’t reveal yourself to yourself. Okay, however, at the end of the day, if we’re not careful, we will be alone – and that’s not good – we all know why – we can only drive around and listen to CD’s or podcasts so long, or ‘attend’ online. We need to trust that God knows who His children are, not mistake abandonment to Him for ‘forsaking us’ and…keep looking for that place small or large – where God’s Word is preached and we can perhaps re-learn worship and love others as we ourselves are loved.

  214. resplendant Oct 5th 2010

    I haven’t visited this site in some time. I was struck by this article and all the comments. Somehow, I felt validated because if you’ve been a Christian for 30 years, back in the day, it is true that you would feel ostracized with such feelings. I haven’t read through all the comments but a few mentioned if you become an out of church believer, it’s because of things like rebellion, bitterness, and such.

    I am none of those things. In fact, if I were to err it would be yielding too much; presuming I was wrong and others, especially leadership, was always right.

    There is no one size fits all except “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. What follows that is love God and love your neighbor. Everything else is a lot of noise to me these days.

    The way churches are organized these days is there is a kind of inner circle in the leadership realm. Understood. But it can often leave those of us on the ground floor distanced. I see the chasm becoming greater these days and it concerns me.

    The big picture is that we are in a Church Age and kind of “stuck” if you will. Hopefully, our Church Age will apprehend what God wants and we will walk in humility.

  215. Richardc Oct 5th 2010

    I have yet to find a pulpit that encourages the bible in the home and I’m not sure why. Therefore many believe that it is the responsibility of the church alone to rear up their children in Christ. They complain that God is not in the schools yet the Bible is hardly spoken in their homes. I hope there are some like this but I have yet to find one. That’s not necessarily a mandate of mine to belong but just an observation. But the assembly of one another is something that is encouraged by Paul, and the premise of this is for authentic God -fearing, Christ loving, brethren to get together to encourage one another, worship together, and to follow the leading of God in His will. Why is this? It’s because satan will attack the church. He will send wolves, false prophets, and church scholars who are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth. The gathering was not meant for these, and if this is the assembly that many are touting, then I want none of that because I’ve already been a part of it. The bible does not say to assemble with wolves, false prophets, and the like. If you are in a church that is biblical and truly shows the fruit of Christ as defined by the Bible then consider yourself blessed, but don’t chastise those who are currently on the outside. Many babes in Christ are following people who have fallen away into ear scratching three point sermons and those who think laughing and barking are signs of God’s spirit. Satan wants them deceived from day one of their conversion. And I don’t see the implication that gathering as an assembly is tantamount to ‘belonging just for the sake of belonging’. People do this, I have, and I was led astray. The only reason I’m out of where I was is because I asked the Lord to show me His truth in His word and if I’m being led astray… to show me. Otherwise I could very well still be laughing or clucking which some people find funny, but it is no laughing matter. It’s utterly heart wrenching and Sprit grieving. John the disciple was alone on Patmos when the Lord gave him words for the church. If he were here today some would insist that he be with a few people so as not to forsake the assembly. If John complied with this assembly mandate, Paul may have stated ‘John, who has bewitched you? Clearly the Spirit called you to be alone. Yet your flesh wants to fill the demand of assembly’.

    I’m not against Christ filled brethren in this or that church. If you are called to be there, then who am I to say ‘come out’. I understand the call to ‘come out of Her’ meaning Babylon, the world system, a system that without a doubt has infiltrated many assemblies. But if someone has found not a place to be and are following the leading of the Spirit to be out, then who is anyone to say ‘you must belong somewhere’. If forsaking assembly was the 11th commandment then John broke it via the leading of the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who also told Paul to write ‘do not forsake the assembling’.

    Many of the reasons that people are out of assembly should be obvious. What Paul said about the degenerative state of the church in the last days is being demonstrated right before us. Pastors being exposed left and right for blatant and willful sin, homosexuality in church leadership, gross signs and wonders which render people with uncontrollable laughter and animal groanings, pulpits who give a doctrine of dominion theology which touts blessings upon blessing so that we reign and rule rather than live as Christ and receive the world’s angst, churches where the cross is more about self improvement than self denial. Many of the same assemblies that we are called to gather are doing much harm to Christ’s sheep and people see it and are grieved. If someone yells ‘enough is enough’ then they are no longer forsaking the assembly, the assembly has ostracized them and move onward in the same manner as before. I want fellowship but I don’t want to be caught up in an influence of falseness, or the ‘yeast’ that Paul speaks of. We are also warned to not be under or part of ‘yeast like’ falseness. So again there are exceptions to the rule of assembly. I do not see what Paul says as a mandate ‘to belong just to belong’. I know some don’t mean it in this manner, but I believe some do.

  216. resplendant Oct 5th 2010

    “John the disciple was alone on Patmos when the Lord gave him words for the church. If he were here today some would insist that he be with a few people so as not to forsake the assembly. If John complied with this assembly mandate, Paul may have stated ‘John, who has bewitched you? Clearly the Spirit called you to be alone. Yet your flesh wants to fill the demand of assembly’”.

    This is good insight, Richard. I think a lot like this as I look at scripture. A similar thought would be a church emphasizing faith to the point of making you think Christians are immune to difficulties or suffering. That if you speak loud and clear and often enough to “that mountain”, you will see it removed. What about Paul and his difficulty and suffering?

    The list goes on. Terms such as greatness, purpose, tenacity.. all indicating the “take that mountain” mindset. Well, victory can look very unassuming. Read the unnamed faithful at the end of Hebrews 11. Read how Jesus “opened not His mouth”.

    As stated earlier, I’ve been in the Church for 30 years. I am seeing people who are grieved, who are needing something that they do not see being preached: the 2 greatest commandments, love God and your neighbor.

    Jesus tells us in John 15 that He loves as the Father loved Him. He continues to say that our joy will be complete if we do the same. That love is unconditional.

    So. Is this what is grieving some out of church Christians? Are we looking for the joy that God promises us? Are we lacking it because the love in our churches are not unconditional?

    God has created the assembly as needful. We need it. Yet, if our church environments are not havens of unconditional love then it will show. From my vantage point, there are far too many opinions out there sounding like Job’s friends. This is in direct opposition to God’s thoughts and I think many believers have kept it up (ministry, work, “church”) and can no longer do it. Perhaps this is God’s way of speaking to His Church?

    The Church today offers conditions, howbeit subtle. We tell the world it is not about works but relationship and as soon as one receives Christ we given them their marching orders. We emphasize doing. Lends itself well to the American culture.

    I want to be. And that “being” causes relationship as we grow in knowing God’s unconditional love and acceptance of us. Then, as we grow in this we very naturally extend it to others. It really is not complicated. Yet, as is usual, man gets in the way. Good intentions perhaps, but there must be a willingness to hear what God may be speaking.

  217. Hi Andrew,

    I read, and agree with the post your made on tithing. I do have one question that I would really appreciate your thoughts on. You said:

    “Giving in the NT was always from the HEART. “Tithing” as such (a 10% amount) was never instituted in the NT church at all, that we can see. No such “law” was followed that we can find in the NT.”

    But I was wondering if you could give me your take on Matt 23:23, where Jesus is scolding the Pharisees (who tithed), for omitting the weightier matters. (To me, he is saying that some matters are weightier or more important, but it doesn’t mean there is no importance of tithing.) At the end of the verse, Jesus says, “These ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone,” or as the NIV says, “practice the latter WITHOUT neglecting the former (tithing)”.

    How do you interpret that verse? I was brought up in a church that strongly taught tithing, but over the past few years, I have questioned the teaching and want to be sure I am not just doing it because “that’s the way I’ve always done it”. As I scour the NT, this is the one NT verse that keeps me thinking that there may be some validity to it. Actually, we try to give more than 10%, but I don’t always keep track of it – when we used to give to the institutionalized church, we were always receipted which made it easier to track – now we sometimes just hand out cash.

    I hope you have time to give me an answer….thanks.

  218. Llewelyn Stevenson Oct 6th 2010

    Thank you to those who responded to my grieving heart. Let me assure you I would die for this community [I have suffered much already]. I am always in trouble for saying “my town, my people”. I weep much and contend with God for those I see on the road to hell. I am weak in so many areas, but I do whatever I can.

    I understand Paul’s vision of the Macedonians. Sometimes I feel I live there. I would like to encourage you all. Many things hold us back but one of the chief ones is employment. If only we would learn to seek first the kingdom of God. When you do this he has a way of taking care of the rest. Perhaps it is the same when seeking a church. Perhaps we should put the needs of others before our own. All too often I become focused on our own needs.

    I’m sorry that I disagree that the bride is leaving the church, which alienates so many of you here and makes me unwelcome. It is very simple to me. You cannot love God and hate your brother, and let me add, you don’t get to choose your brothers – so don’t speculate who is and who isn’t. God is the judge and it is he who justifies.

    I would like you to slowly read the epistles you will see that this is the mode of the new testament church. The rules of love apply here. As long as someone declares that Jesus is the Christ, the only son of God I accept them as my brother/ sister in Christ. If I see them this way then I cannot exclude them as being a part of the bride of Christ. Remember that Jesus said, no man can say this except by the Holy Ghost.

    If you believe in Jesus this way then you are my brother/sister. We may disagree on many things but that doesn’t disallow our relationship. I have 4 brothers in the natural and we disagreed in many things. I received and handed out blows to prove it.

    You are mine and I love you all. One day we’ll be on the new earth together. Bruised and battered, and still related.

    Kerry.

  219. Stella Carabajal Oct 6th 2010

    I just wanted to comment in”Why so many are leaving the org. Religions”.
    I think that we have forgotten that Jesus did not say anything about his own select to join org. Religions.
    Whwn Jesus on the earth was teaching and many in whom The Father drew to his for “as no man can come to the Father except the Father draw him”;. so we are looking to only those in whom the Father drew for the purpose of his salvation or called ones by his spirit. The gospel is for all the world; but, not all the world will receive him as L-rd. Only those whos names are writtem in the Lambs book of life from the beginning.
    One of the verses of scripture which became an eye opener was: “All those who receieve the mark of the beast KNOW that their names were not written in the “Lambs” book of life.” By understanding this verse; Now we know those in who were not called or drawen by the father to be an disciple of the L-rd Jesus Christ are not his. we got to remember that the tares from the begginning of the fall of man have been planted among the wheat and these have established the org. religions; except so many who have been called for his purpose of being called the sons of G-d think too think if they don`t belong to an org. religion there lost puppies outside of the org. religions.
    First of all Jesus teachings and commandments have nothing to do with org. Religions. Jesus taugth that we are the living stones ( church) not buildings or classified religions of man.
    ” It is a Way of life” Jesus taught that in being followrs of him and keping his commandments is a way of life for his true sheep to have life on this earth and eternal life in the next world ( resurrection) of righteousness.
    “Where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, he ( Jesus Christ) is there among his true sheep..
    From the time that Jesus Christ came into my life I have never been part of any org. religion of man. Yet I sw the great miracles of G-d and the power of his manifestation moving among small groups of believers in him; and I have seen him move for me in many ways that many people who attent org. religions never have set eyes to behold his marvelous works; much less to hear his audible voice speaking to you. ” It is real” HE IS REAL and will speak with you face to face. I`m not talking about something that comes in by the spirit in you or prompt in our minds. I am literally speaking in actually hearing his voice speaking to you audibly.
    I believe when one really hears him speak to you ; “one has made him King and L-rd of ones life”. Why? Because we have excepted him as our true king and L-rd and we have no other king or L-rd except him upon this earth.
    I say this in remembrence when the children of Israel arrived on Mt. Sinai and The L-rd came down to them on the moutain to speak with them audibley and thay couldn`t bear it; so they said: No! Moses you speak with him and we will do all that he says.
    What kind of thinking is this! They chose to have man rule over them rather then to hear G-d speaking to them face tp face.
    When Jesus was on the earth he spoke to his disciples face to face WoW!!!
    Next The children of Israel decided that they wanted a king as the rest of the other nations ( Goyim) someone in whom they would see and guide them and be their king “WHAT!!
    G-d said to Moses ” They have rejected me as their king and L-rd;” therefore I will give them a king as they have intended. I will tell you what will happem because you have rejected me as your “King and L:-rd” ; They will rule over you and make you slaves ( servants) you will be sujected unto them. So God snode Saul as their king and L-rd. Then Saul himself didn`t do as the L-rd commanded him and the kingdom was riped from him and given to King David and so on and on. The whole world has been a mess since then cause peoples would rather have men rule over them and speak to them rather then to make G-d their king and L-rd for themselves..
    Ever since man rejected to make G-d their King and L-rd over them; from the time Isreal rejected G-d to be their king and L-rd over them Man ( Saul) and through many more the move of religions became a common thing in which was already being done with the nations of the rest of the world in their worshipping of Idols and etc. in which became intwined in todays world religions and people think they got to be a member of a church to be grow in truth or to hear the word of G-d. How far from the truth they have come..
    Yet the scripture tells us: When he the Holy spirit comes he ( The holy spirit) will lead you and guide you into all truth” NOTICE: AND YOU HAVE NO NEED THAT ANY MAN TEACH YOU”. ( You have no need to join any religious instituation to be able to be taught and know the truth! Why? Because when ones makes the L-rd his king and L-rd over oneself; OH GLORY! You will begain to hear for yourself ever word which proceedeth out of the mouth of G-d for yourself . There is no man in between you and the L-rd; just you and him communicating face to face.
    ” They that worship me; must worship me in SPIRIT and in Truth.”
    Jesus said to the women: The hour has come and now you don`t need to go to Jerusalem =( the temple) to worship me, neither to that mountain= ( Org. religions of man) to worship me. He that worships me must worship me in spirit and in truth..
    Do not be decieved in man telling you you got to join a church .
    He whom G-d set free is free indeed. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. ( we got alot of Pharisees everywhere we turn trying to establish you to join into their religions.
    A true sheep will be known by his spirit ; meaning one who is completely lead by his spirit and not by the will of man…

    Stella
    ..

  220. Michael Oct 6th 2010

    @David re: God not calling anyone to leave a church based on Rev 2 & 3.

    What we call churches today are not equivalent to the city-wide assemblies in Rev. “Church” is a mistranslation of the Greek word “ekklesia”. “Church” literally does mean a house of God. “Ekklesia” literally means “called out ones” and would be better translated as gathering or assembly.

    Of course God didn’t call them to come out from them in Rev. because there was (and is) only one true ekklesia in any given locale. Everyone who is a true follower of Christ is a member of the ekklesia wherever he dwells. He doesn’t have to join it, he just belongs to it. That is the context for Rev. 2 & 3. At that point there weren’t a myriad of churches in every city.

    Our “churches” aren’t the same. Our churches are man-made associations that for the most part have no foundation in Scripture. You are trying to compare apples and bananas.

    We need to stop defending our ridiculous sand-castle churches and start desiring God’s true ekklesia.

  221. Loretta Oct 6th 2010

    I’ve been following this thread with great interest, reading everyone’s comments. Michael and Stella, I very much appreciate your last comments, above. Very helpful and encouraging.

  222. I agree Michael

  223. Kay – In a nutshell about what Jesus said to the Pharisees about tithing, the Old Covenant laws were still in force because Jesus had not been crucified yet, when He said, “it is finished”, and the the curtain of the holy of holies inside the temple was torn in half, this act ushered in the spiritual New Covenant. No longer would God’s Glory dwell in a temple made with hands (Ark of The Covenant) and the Spirit of God would later be made available to all who believed in Jesus.

    2nd Cor. 9:6-7

    “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

  224. HappyTrails Oct 6th 2010

    Llewelyn Stevenson says the following:

    “As long as someone declares that Jesus is the Christ, the only son of God I accept them as my brother/ sister in Christ. If I see them this way then I cannot exclude them as being a part of the bride of Christ. Remember that Jesus said, no man can say this except by the Holy Ghost.

    If you believe in Jesus this way then you are my brother/sister.”

    Happy Trails comments on the above:

    I know how COMFORTING AND SECURE we all FEEL when we follow the biblically based “church” FORMULAS.

    BUT…..there are REAL FACTS/TESTIMONIES OUT THERE THAT ARE BLOWING AWAY ALL, AND I DO MEAN ALL, THE FORMULAS.

    Life with Christ is not a bunch of FORMULAS.

    I have a 30 year testimony of being “saved” “born again” and attending both AOG and Baptist and Non-denominational pentecostal churches. Sunday School teacher; Witnessing Warrior to the cults, etc etc etc.
    I spoke the words that there is 1 God in 3 persons; that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for my sins on the cross, He died, and rose from the dead in bodily form and walked on this earth for 40 days; was glorified and ascended to the Father.

    Guess what……I WAS NOT BORN AGAIN! And all the people who knew me did not believe it, until MY TRUE WALK WITH THE TRUE GOD BEGAN. It was a walk of Peace, Love, Joy, Freedom, Power, and Holiness.

    I witnessed another person, whom I have known for 40 years, be delivered of DEMON POSSESSION. They have believed that they were born again for 35 years.
    The day after their demons came out of them, they were born again and their walk is so drastically changed….Peace, Love, Joy, Glorious Freedom, Holiness.

    Neither one of us looks, feels, or lives like the “Christian” communities in our towns. Our whole walk with God is about HOLINESS, WALKING BY THE SPIRIT, ABSOLUTE SURRENDER. We do not hear this in the “churches” let alone find it.

  225. Randy Ailie Oct 6th 2010

    Sorry guy’s, I have not had the time to check back in here since Andrew posted a brief summery on it on another thread here. In the end as we try to walk with Jesus he has us as a people and as a person visit different places, much of this may be influenced also by whatever gifting the Lord is calling you into and how he wants to teach you and flavor your future ministry. That there has been a mass exodus from the church is now just a matter of statistics since this subject by itself is openly discussed by all of the major denominations. For everyone thier own why will differ. I was involved with home groups for many years with multiple denominations in differant churches and one day I was eloquently booted out by the Lord at the direction of the Holy Spirit. Have I been scorched by the powers that be in my past in church leadership? Of course! Do I blame them? No. In their shoes considering my gifting and the flavor of what the Lord was doing in those days I would have in their shoes probably done the same thing. I really don’t have the heart rending stories that I see evident here as to my departure. Mine has been a prolonged prophetic journey concerning truth, sin, spiritual warfare, and many other items to long to discuss. I have like Andrew run across true believers everywhere I go! Parking lots, stores, businesses, it really does not matter. I have ministered christ everywhere, not because I am spiritual, just available. I have seen and been present in astounding prayer meetings that were spontanious gatherings literally everywhere. People crying and pouring out their hearts to the Lord and each other. The only thing that has been present is the scripture that commands us not to forsake the gathering of the Lord which is the custom of some. House church may not be the answer for many of you either, as it has been discussed in many cases it is just a smaller reproduction of larger “church” issues. However it is where I am currently planted, quite happily here in Spokane I might add. fortunitely for me they are a group of pastoral and prophetically clean people that are on the same journey as me. Our meetings try and blend sharing/teaching/prayer into a group format while trying to keep an open mind as to what the Lord wants us to pursue and hear as a family. Walking on this knife edge is impossable in larger meetings. One good book that caught my attention is Wolfgang Simpsons book called Houses that Change the World. Understand that the house church movement as we know it is pretty much somewhat stale also except in 3rd world countries where the Lord is moving spectacularly in this format. So house church should not be looked at as the answer unless the Lord is leading you there. I have watched as mature christians everywhere are experiencing these spiritual seasons in their lives as the Lord is cleaning them up and preparing them for his work, most of this seems to be in getting us clean from so much that we just take as truth with never really examining the tradition behind it. In many other cases he wants to teach you what your personal 5 fold gifting is and how to walk in it. This is quite impossable in most of the larger traditional churches unless you are intimately involved with leadership and here again I have to stress the word intimately. One of the biggest dangers is to remain housebound and never get away from the internet, never get away from the teaching student format and getting involved with your life with any believers, anywhere. But there is certainly credance when the exodus is explored scriptually and prophetically. The Lord it appears is causing a deeper spiritual hunger everywhere leaving most people dissatisfied with the status quo they are living. This is one of the biggest reasons for so much false spiritual christian activity recently. This almost encourages me as this in history always predates a genuine visitation from the Lord. He alone can answer the cry in our hearts. Finding each other in the areas we live has been one of the key issues facing the new church that I believe the Lord is raising up. And it probably is the easiest one to fix. The rest is up to him and yourself. My only advice is to pray your heart out and seek him with where and what he would have you do. Expect an answer. he will lead you in ways that will astound you when you are sold out to hear from him. keep in mind that you are the apple of his eye! His child! He is committed to bring you into his image and all the power of his kingdom is at his disposal. Some of my new closest friends have come in these soverign meetings in the middle of no where. Two of my lifelong friends, one incredibly prophetic, and one incredibly pastoral are both planted in a megachurch doing marriage ministry at this time, but are both being called out to do their own thing in following the Lord. There are some people who really are just antagonistic souls and will effectively disrupt any meeting they are in or church they are involved in just by the nature of their hearts. Others such as the ones that I see here are on a definite journey, the only one that can help is Jesus who calls and leads us. There is no one answer that can effectively placate everyone.I know pastors that I love and admire in traditional churches who “feel” called and planted to do just what they are doing. Godly people living godly sold out lives. Factor in the human feature, and what we come up with is that all of us, no matter how gifted we may seem are prone to making mistakes on a colossal scale and on our best day we like Paul wrote are seeking God or hearing from him as in a fog. We prophesy in part, we preach in part, ect.
    So the question really comes down to where you are at in your own journey as to how you will answer this inherant problem, if indeed it is even a problem! Some of us like myself had to walk away from the notoriety of the call and spend some much needed death time alone in our spiritual caves with Jesus getting to know him away from ministry. Others have legitimate reasons also that are personal to themselves for being out of the body as the traditional body looks at it. One also has to ask, if we are sold out to the will of the Lord in someones life coming to pass, should we be the ones laying the condemnation of the law on them when we have no real idea why they are where they are at? My plea to leaders earlier was intended to catch their attention to some potential answers for the very existance of this thread. I too have run across hundreds upon hundreds of freerange christians who are isolated for one reason or another, and all with their own story. Some are heart rending and others make sense when I have spent time getting to know them in a spiritual context. Most of them are saints whom I have grown to respect who love Jesus! In the end the commandment to Love one another so touted by so many as the missing link, the impossable task, is only possible taking the hand of Jesus and allowing him to give us the power to do just this. In other words we simply need his presence, just like all things in serving each other. We have been taught to look to ministers or professionals in the church to serve us, when Jesus is calling us to learn how to hear his voice and serve others. A building is never what Jesus mentions for this to happen, what is requiered is us.

  226. resplendant Oct 6th 2010

    Across the board we see our churches are being ran as a business. I suppose when anything gets this large, it does become an administrative issue. Yet, where 2 or 3 are gathered He is there. Surely that means there is some presence of God in our churches today. Is it the best? No. But perhaps “you who are spiritual”, meaning those on this thread who are grieved, may still attend church since your presence there must bring something to the church gatherings. The mature, spiritual thing to do is to endure the state of the church in its weakness.

    I have not had the experience of walking away from my church that I have been a part of for 30 years mostly because I have been in covenant with these people and not the “way we do church” so to speak. One may say how can they be separated? Well, my church isn’t blasphemous so I think that I can attend and be thankful for “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”.

    If you think I haven’t suffered, I have. I crossed every “t” and dotted every “i” with “the formula” in raising my children and homeschooling them. I prayed earnestly, declaring scriptures daily and warfare. Psalm 91 was a particular favorite: no evil shall befall my home, etc. and my oldest son, who was raised in the church, took his life as a young adult. What followed was insult to injury amidst the support of many.

    Need I say more? Yet, I still attend. I am not as visible in my role as prophetic voice, intercessory prayer, and the many other ministries I served in. But perhaps my presence, without words, is vital. Because God spoke to me clearly after my son died: “You will no longer tell them, you will show them.”

    I know everyone here has a different story. Understood. But certainly there are some who can take the higher road of “having done all, stand”.

    Nevertheless, I stand with you in being grieved as well and believe that this unsettledness will pave the way for the Church to be as God intends. One thing I restate: we must return to 1 Corinthians 13 love for that is the love that initiated God sending a Savior. And we have been amiss since many do not wish to lay down their lives.

  227. resplendant Oct 6th 2010

    I forgot to add- one thing that has changed for me drastically is that I have “ministered” more outside of the church than within. I, too, have met people who do not attend church and I have reached out to them in practical ways with the love of Christ. This has brought me great joy!

    Also, funny how people in the world are often more compassionate and caring than people in the church.

  228. watchful Oct 6th 2010

    Thanks for sharing that Happy Trails, it’s been my suspicion for a while now that in order to be truly born AGAIN, the way God means it, don’t we have to first of all ‘DIE’..

  229. Llewelyn Stevenson Oct 7th 2010

    I’m sorry Happytrails. At 1st I struggled to make a connection with your comment.

    Unfortunately I take the word of God 1st… then experience so I cannot agree with your claims. Experience is so deceptive that I will not trust it.

    I believe in holiness, you don’t have to shout it at me. I call for repentance and faith – they are elementary doctrines.

    I believe in a seperated life. My favourite song from young childhood [and I have witnesses that I sung it with great determination] says, “Though none go with me still I will follow.”

    And I believe in walking in [being led by] the Holy Spirit and abiding in Christ. It is what compels me to return and speak with those who appear, at times, totally disinterested in what I have to say. I feel responsible for the souls of all in that I must give them opportunity and reason to believe.

    I could say that my experience does not line up with yours, but what of it – since I don’t trust experience?

    When I speak of love I am not talking of a wishy washy I accept everything love but a self-sacrificing love. I die daily. I suffer many things I don’t have to, but I do it for your sakes because the Spirit compels me. It is not easy to be rejected, ridiculed and spurned but I do it with all joy if it means some may believe [I want all to believe].

    The Bible says, if we would judge ourselves we would not be condemned with the world. By your testimony you have judged yourself – that is exceptionally good.

    Just be careful you are not misjudging others.

    God bless you

    Kerry.

  230. All to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 7th 2010

    Response to Happy Trails:
    Religious Mimics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5yNhBRZOcQ

    I don’t know who this man of God is in this vid, but he gives the Word that totally confirms your last post. Let us all pray we are found worthy!!!
    Good Word, awesome Testimony Happy Trails, Thank you!!

  231. All to Him my Blessed Savior Oct 7th 2010

    The Church is not a physical congregation. It is spiritual, or should be. Someone posted here that we are in the Body of Christ no matter where we are. This is true. Jesus told the woman at the well that He was seeking a people who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
    John 4
    23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

    24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    As we enter into worship, we join the multitude of spiritually alive believers in that worship of The Father. Whether it’s one person or a billion. The Acts church had that in their meetings. There was no religiousity in thier assembly. They gathered for a much different reason than we do today. The agendas have changed. They are a far cry from the First church in Acts. That’s why there is no power in the “churches”. But there is much power of the Holy Spirit being manifest in individuals/small groups. The “church building” never even came into existance until Constantine’s patronage of the church in the fourth century. The first church had leaders/elders only for the purpose of maintaining order in the assembly. The elders were appointed to go visit the sick (James 5:14)
    and manage the distribution of goods and gifts to the needy and poor (Acts 6:2-3) everyone was encouraged to share a psalm or testimony ect.
    The pulpit is a pagan symbol. The pulpit pre-dates Christianity and is wholly pagan in origin. The heathen priest, standing in a heathen temple, moved out onto a walkway which had a banister around it and made his announcements to the pagan onlookers. This was called the ambo (latin from the word ambon) (1) It was used as a tool of manipulation and control.
    Ther are many other adopted pagan traditions that infiltrated the church and still are today. So what if the power of God brings so many people to a house they take over the block, they’ll stay!! Because God is really there!!
    (1) http://www.wickedshepherds.com/ThePulpit.html

  232. The comment just above about the pulpit’s pagan roots is very interesting. If we look back only 14 years there was a very strange occurrence at the Christian Tabernacle in Houston. The presence of the Holy Spirit was heavy on the place one Sunday. The worship team was so strongly affected that they were unable to meet the bulletin’s agenda. When the pastor came up to the pulpit he reads a short section of scripture, and is literally thrown about 10 feet away from the congregation, the 1/2″ thick acrylic pulpit was broken in two and thrown towards the congregation.

    Here’s a link that discusses this in detail:

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/stop-majoring-in-the-minors-stop-building-monuments-to-prophets/

    This post highlights some old testament warnings that I think apply to today’s pastors.

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/gods-shepherd-warning/

    God Bless
    Glenn

  233. Maddy Oct 9th 2010

    I’m in a church that the Lord has brought me and on a Sunday service I keep saying to myself this church is missing something and write there the Divine Spirit of God spoke into my life and said it’s lacking life. This is the problem that we are facing today presently in The Church of God it is nothing more then the lack of life within the church and messages preached in the altar. If the pastor or person transmitting the message of God is not walking in holiness or is not praying in his prayer closet and we the flock will be able to experience the lack of anointing and power in the message being omitted. I don’t care how eloquent his message my be if there is not prayer there is no power and no life. We as the servants of God, we are to express Him in everything we do from small to grant.
    God’s Church has brought the world into the church and the same church we go to worship and praise the Lord is contaminated by the world to such point that you may not understand what I’m referring to right now. But God says, “I will not accept worship when people take pagan custom or manner of worship and try to honor Christ with it. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” The hearts of the people of God has been hearten by the sin allowed in their lives. God is calling THE CHURCH to repentance. When the judgment of God is send forth it will start with church only to bring restoration.
    It doesn’t matter where we are in the church… If God has brought us into this place remain there and encourage yourself in Christ and pray, pray, pray because God does answer prayers of his faithful ones.

    God Bless,
    LOVE Maddy

  234. Maddy,
    I was taken by your opening comments above:
    ” I’m in a church that the Lord has brought me and on a Sunday service I keep saying to myself this church is missing something and write there the Divine Spirit of God spoke into my life and said it’s lacking life. This is the problem that we are facing today presently in The Church of God it is nothing more then the lack of life within the church and messages preached in the altar. If the pastor or person transmitting the message of God is not walking in holiness or is not praying in his prayer closet and we the flock will be able to experience the lack of anointing and power in the message being omitted. ”

    Your insights here are real. The lack of life within the church is a direct result of her pastors not walking in holiness. These observations are all right on the mark! I don’t think that your first statement is as accurate. Are you absolutely certain that it was the Lord that has guided you into to this church?

    I think that the Lord is calling us all to leave these Pastor/Pew Sitter abominations. He is calling us to leave Babylon, to leave today’s harlot chuches.

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/come-out-from-babylon-from-todays-harlot-church/

    Jesus was clear about the distinction between his good Shepherds and hired hand!

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/gods-shepherd-warning/

    These passage are a severe rebuke for all of today’s ordained ministers!!!

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/gods-shepherd-warning/

  235. shoshana Oct 9th 2010

    The ‘church’ or true assembly of the Creator has always been Israel and the gentiles attached to her. That is the real bride. The counterfeit bride build up by Rome and renamed ‘Catholic Christian Church’ from which many daughters came, the protestant churches, all suffer from the same disease as their mother. The scripture admonishes us to get out of her. Babylon was deeply intertwined in Rome’s paganism and this same paganism was injected in Rome’s church and it is still there. That is why it is doomed to crumble altogether. It was never the true assembly of Yah!

  236. If all you holy lost sheep would take your families and go back to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, you would push out all the evil that has infiltrated her. I am staying and fighting with the armor of Christ Jesus and I am already winning in my community….one mason and his false teaching and worship has quit our church, so the power of God prevails! Onward Christian Soldiers, what do you think that means…Jesus said to take up our crosses and follow him…..he did not promise it would be easy. Fight back people with your holiness! I love and pray for you all because we are brothers and sister in Christ Jesus. Therer are many wolves in sheeps clothing, but your continued holiness pushes them out!

  237. HappyTrails Oct 10th 2010

    shoshana…..preach the truth! Amen

    It actually started further back shoshana…….clear back to Cain. Cain started FALSE RELIGION.

  238. HappyTrails Oct 10th 2010

    From Our Father’s Heart
    10/09/2010

    Those of you who are following hard after Me

    affect your world more than you know.

    Most people don’t know what to do with you, especially in My church.

    Your mere presence makes carnal followers of My Word very uncomfortable.

    People who are prideful in what they know become confused just being near you.

    Their little world is rocked by your immovable love for Me.

    Your faith makes them see how puny their faith is.

    I have told you this before; now I am telling you again,

    so that you can shake loose from the guilt

    that has been placed on you for so many years.

    Be prepared to see foolish, prideful hearts harden before your very eyes.

    Prepare yourselves to see what you have considered to be close friends

    separate themselves from you for no apparent reason.

    Watch as they do an about face, making flimsy excuses for their departure.

    It is not you.

    It is the exposure of their hearts.

    They cannot go where they would be expected to go if they stayed in your midst.

    Their boundaries are being stretched by My call on your life,

    and it is too far for them to go.

    All of their talk of service, all their religious games

    are too comfortable to leave.

    You don’t fit in their world.

    You are too much of a maverick in their eyes.

    They must revert to their comfort zones.

    They are too weak to face the scorn of their peers

    if they acknowledge your way of life fully.

    Rest assured, I will take care of you.

    You will never really fit with anyone but those of like mind and Spirit.

    Your life will always expose the values of others

    whether you know it is happening or not.

    Take comfort in the fact that I will lead you to those

    who are not playing games with Me.

    Others will go about their business,

    relieved that you are no longer in their midst.

    I will heal your wounds and remove the rejection.

    I will be Lord for you.

    I will be your friend.

    I appreciate you.

    Pray for the others as they increase their activities,

    so that the stain of rejecting you

    feels less painful to them.

    Ps. 31:20 AMP In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues.

    Matthew 5:13 AMP You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality) how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

    It is encouraging and refreshing to share “war” stories with fellow misunderstood, so-called maverick believers. Somehow, doing so makes the rough times a little easier and the very difficult times more bearable. It also helps to know that you have kindred spirits in your corner, when your faith seems small and all you have the strength to do is hang on desperately to the hem of Jesus’ garment.

    To those of you who have embraced the call of a crucified, sacrificial life, you need to understand that you will not ever be understood. Every opportunity to discredit you will be taken. Every effort to show that your way of living is not the proper way will be made.

    You will be forever on the sidelines, perpetually called to do without, and continually labeled as misfits. When your spiritual help is no longer needed, you will be discarded with as little concern as yesterday’s laundry, of no more use. After you have paved the way to the most current move of the Lord, others more powerful and more credible in the eyes of the church will take what you have given and make it more saleable, marketing it with professional expertise. You will then be called to start all over, paving the way for the heart of your Lord to be presented in another way, until that takes hold, and so on and so on.

    Having said that, you will also have access to the heart of our Father in a way that few understand. You will be able to intimately hold the hand of your Lord during the roughest of times, and you will feel the refreshing breeze of the Holy Spirit more than those who do not have your calling could ever imagine. You are truly blessed.

    In the times when you feel weakest, and long for even a morsel of the delicacies that most of the comfortable church enjoys daily, you need to remember the life of your Lord and Savior. You need to remember that you have been called to live as He did among others. Your reward is not in this present time. Your reward is in seeing the Lord’s pleasure as He directs your life, paving the way for His desires to be initiated in a cold church. He will be your reward.

    You are groundbreakers. You are called to stir up the complacent. You are gaining the heart of God. You are the salt that has not lost its saltness. He is very pleased with you.

    I remember what it is all about once again, Lord,

    Jim Corbett

  239. HappyTrails Oct 10th 2010

    shoshana…..God says I worded that short comment to you incorrectly.

    Cain was the first one to start FALSE WORSHIP, WHICH IS RELIGION.

    Big difference between what I said earlier and this.

  240. Llewelyn Stevenson Oct 11th 2010

    I know I said goodbye yesterday, but I just couldn’t stay away without sharing some good news with you. I was sitting listening to the glory of the Lord last night when it came to me to write to you concerning the promise and character of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Today I want to say to you if you are sick or infirm in any way that you be healed in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Receive it now because it is yours. Let me say to you that you do not be put off by the objections written to what I have said here [I imagine they will flow - they always do], just be believing in the Lord Jesus.

    I have prayed, am always praying, that God will manifest himself to you through Jesus Christ as he did for the disciples and has done for me. What I would ask, should you be healed that you tell those here so that others may believe in the Lord Jesus also and experience the presence of God.

    So be healed in Jesus’ name,

    Kerry.

  241. Kathleen Bailey Oct 12th 2010

    I read this article a when it was posted. The thing that stands out to me is that we are the Church. Whether we are in or out we are…the church.

    My moto here is http://www.God, whenver, wherever, whoever, may we represent Jesus and be Jesus to a dying world. That is what counts. Be ready in every season. Meet with a few, or a lot, but meet and worship God and share your love for him.

    We are the church, the living organism of the Kingdom of God.
    When, Where, and Who are whatever, whoever and however the Spirit leads us.