PROPHECY: Built On The Foundation Of The Pastors
September 10, 2002

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Dear Readers:

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the pastors, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone" Ephesians 2:19-20 (New 21st Century WYSIWYG Version)

I know, go ahead and stone me.

The correct rendering is:

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone" Ephesians 2:19-20 (Authorized Version)

Today, I drove by a mega-church here in my hometown. They have put up a new sign. It is a very big sign. I will change the names, as they are not particularly important. It reads as follows: Magnified Life-Pastor Ron Grant.

Now, I happen to like this pastor. I like many of the saints in that church quite a lot. One thing is certain: Magnified Life is built on a foundation of Pastor Ron Grant. If you went to Magnified Life, and asked who is in charge, and whose vision is followed, there would be one unanimous answer. Please realize that I'm taking no shots at Pastor Ron here. He is a good pastor as modern day pastors go. He is merely symbolic of many thousands of pastors.

This story line is played out all around the world wherever the mega-church has spread. There is a pyramid leadership structure with one strong pastor as the head, or the foundation of the church. The Lord showed me this pyramid once in a vision. Jesus walked up along side of it, with a big club. He smashed the pyramid to bits and pieces, he looked at me, and He said: "I did not build this".

Apostles and prophets have shouted, pretty much with one voice, that God did not build this structure. Many have theorized as to how it is going to be replaced by the biblical model. Some argue that the apostles and prophets that form the foundation are now dead, and there are no modern living ones. Ah, if you belief that, you believe in a dead Jesus as chief cornerstone as well, for the building that is described by the apostle to the Ephesians is a living building, with every part living.

How will this change in structure take place? How did this happen?

The church is built now upon a foundation of pastors because the people have always wanted it so. Take a trip with me to Acts 15:13. I could begin with the desire of the Israelites for a king, but I won't. Instead, I'll talk about the Church of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.

Here we have the written account of the Jerusalem church: how it functioned in a time of crisis. The story told here describes a church that is about 20 years old, since this meeting occurred just prior to the journey of Paul and Barnabas to the Galatians in about 51 AD. Notice that in the 13th verse a certain man made the final decision in this time of dispute. Was he one of the noted apostles or pillars? No, it was James, the bishop of the church of Jerusalem.

And so, we see illustrated here that when the church exists in relative stability, the bishops and pastors have rule, because the people want it that way. The people give them the last word. The apostles and prophets are relegated to advisory positions during times of stability, if they are listened to at all. If apostles and prophets form their own churches, they do not draw a crowd during such a time of stability.

Yes, the crowds will gather around them: 5000 in one day, in a time of persecution and martyrdom. They give no comforting words, and their focus is on heaven, and not on building wealth and prosperity here on earth. In times of peace and safety, the apostles and prophets are regarded as troublemakers, and doom and gloomers who spoil the party. They won't get with the program. They just tend to bring everybody down. They always see judgement coming. They are always so heavy and serious. They are always emphasizing a walk with the Lord that entails so much sacrifice, fasting and death to self. Who wants any of that?

The people want it this way. They gather around the pastors and give them the last word. Many of the pastors believe with all their hearts that strong pastoral leadership is the way it ought to be. They have never considered that any other way could possibly work. They are probably right in so far as a stable, peacetime church is concerned. If they did begin to rest upon the revelation knowledge of apostles and prophets, they would become more apostolic and prophetic in their leadership, and the masses would no longer flock to them.

Let's follow the noble apostle further on to Acts 27. Paul is a prisoner on board a ship bound for Rome. In the eyes of the captain of that ship, Paul is a nobody, but in God's eyes, he is a real somebody. While the voyage remains calm, Paul's words of warning go unheeded, but once the predicted storm manifests, Paul receives an instant promotion. He is now the captain of this ship, and gives the orders that result in the saving of the lives of all 276 on board.

What caused his promotion? The storm! During the storm, the most important man on any ship is the one who hears the clearest from God. Even after this promotion, some in charge of the ship still wanted to kill him. Yes, that is just how it is.

What will change the foundation of the church that we see everywhere we look?

The storm will do it. The simultaneous arrival of the storm and a few apostles and prophets who are already walking intimately with God in that storm will do it.

When the storm hits, the people will remember the apostle and prophet who told them that a storm was coming. The Holy Spirit will call them to remembrance, just as those people on that ship remembered the warning given to them by the apostle Paul. They will also take note of the pastors who said nothing about a coming storm, but continued with their building programs and their elaborate plots and plans for separating the sheep from their greenbacks.

Many of you have given warnings of the storm that is coming. You have seen it. You look at it every day in your spirit, in your dreams, and in visions given to you by Jesus. You are learning how to walk on the water while being in the midst of the storm. You are learning how to keep your eyes on Jesus, no matter what comes.

You are presently involved in a personal prayer closet revival of intimacy with the Lord, and you are ready to walk with God while the masses are running around you in the church, screaming in panic with hearts failing from fear.

This is going to happen very soon. Get ready now. Make the final preparations. Plead with God that He prepares you to walk in the midst of the hurricane.

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Stephen L. Bening

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