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Prophecy: Structural Abominations And Shrinking Refuges
October 15, 2009

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Several months ago, a new church body that I have worked with decided to name a single man as "the pastor". When I heard of this news, I felt a grieving of the Holy Spirit like I have never felt before. I felt as if I had been stabbed in the gut. The news was so tragic and hit me so hard, I did not have very much to say about it. What could I say? People whom I loved had taken an action that was hurting all of us.

Not one single church of the biblical, apostolic era can be shown to have had a single bishop or elder, yet it has become the de-facto expectation of our age that every single identifiable church must have a single head, like unto a corporate president.

This is done in spite of the biblical objections of Jesus, who rebuked the desire of the disciples to have a "greatest one" clearly designated by the Lord. This is done despite the words of Paul that clearly deprecate the desires of the one who wanted "to be first".

Those who are greatest must be the servants of all and wash the feet of those who are least. This is the Lord's way, and this is the church He built.

This little church body of which I speak is in an area that has been designated as a refuge area by the Holy Spirit. The Lord revealed such to me, and Matthew Stephen also was shown that the area was "blue area" on his refuge map.

The little church has since suffered through a great reduction in the presence of the Lord, and has made several adjustments to try to regain the power of the Lord that was present at first. Changes were made to worship and to meeting content. But still, the Lord will not be wooed, and He has not returned with His power. Most will agree that excitement in attending these meetings has waned, and members are missing meetings more and more frequently. Where children once danced in a meeting, they now color with crayons in the corner.

I have been mostly quiet about this. The men about whom I speak are "good men" who love the Lord. They are my friends. They seek to function as the church in a biblical way. They have an open pulpit and all who have the word of the Lord are encouraged to speak in the meetings. So, initially, I sought the Lord to see if the Lord would return and permit this designation of a single pastor by this little flock. Perhaps, I thought, the proper function as it is in operation would persuade the Lord to overlook the structural error they have decided to embrace.

The Lord spoke to me and said the following:


"I the Lord have designed My church to suit my good pleasure, and men have departed from My wishes as they have elevated the desires of their hearts over and above the desire of My heart. They have among them men who desire to be chief, and others who wish to be like the rest of the world around them. All believers in your nation have "a pastor", and so, those for whom you intercede desire "a pastor", so as not to be peculiar in appearance. They are uncomfortable when others in their community regard them as different or strange.

I the Lord have called my people to be a peculiar people, and I will abide with those who abide with Me. I will abide with the one who keeps My word and My commandments. Where the function of the church is proper, but the structure of the church is aberrant, I will put upon that church no special measure of My presence and My power. As my presence is experienced in the harlot church, so will I be experienced in the church for which you intercede, for the structure alone is sufficient to defile the whole lump."


I meditated long on this answer from God, and the consequences to the refuge designation of the area by Him. Matthew Stephen has spoken for more than a year that the areas of refuge in the USA are shrinking because the people of God have not obeyed the Lord. Matthew says this has happened because the remnant has not occupied the refuge areas and have not prayed over them. Witches have entered those refuge areas and they have now been lost. Those refuge areas have been compromised.

Now, the Lord has identified a third cause for shrinking refuge areas. Where remnant believers flee the zones of destruction and enter the refuge areas, but they cling to the structure, customs and habits of the harlot church, they will lose their refuge status that the Lord has desired to confer upon that area. They may be living in an area designated as safe, but it will no longer be safe for their church body. Why?

Because safety is not found in a place! True refuge may only be found in the presence of Jesus. If through your actions, you grieve the Holy Spirit, you are not safe, and you are not in a refuge area, no matter how safe your area appears to be on a map; no matter how many guns you have; no matter how much food you have stored. YOU ARE NOT SAFE WITHOUT THE FULL PRESENCE OF GOD IN YOUR MIDST!


"Those who remain in those previously designated refuge areas may have My presence if they come out of their defilements and refuse to share in the sins that are being committed. Those may have My presence, and My protection will rest upon their household. Such a household will constitute a Lighthouse of My presence."


It remains clear, however, that full refuge protection is afforded only to the church, properly structured and properly functioning. God promises to be in the midst of two or three who are gathered together in His name. Safety and refuge requires that He be FULLY present. Those who grieve His Spirit will enjoy NO SUCH SPECIAL PROTECTION.


Stephen L. Bening

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