What The Lord Said To Me Today


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Eph. 1:22-23

This is sent for your edification and consideration. The vision contains some dramatic emphasis for the purpose of helping us see that not all that we have been doing in church has its origins in God. Thus, the fruit will not be what He is looking for. God is not obligated to anoint our ways and structures regardless of our good intentions, which can be the enemy of God's best. What worked in the past doesn't mean it will work in the present, even if God did originate it for a time and purpose. The only person that can sing, "I did it my way" and get away with it is God.

I began seeing this vision in the springtime of 1998. It is a vision that I can repeatedly look into, observe in detail and inquire of the Lord about its meaning. It is clearer today than when I first received it.

The vision begins with an overview of a vast area of destroyed buildings. Many of these buildings are leveled to their foundations. Some are even destroyed below the ground, the very foundation in ruins.

The scene reminded me of pictures I had seen of Hiroshima, Japan after the atomic bombing. Twisted and mangled steel girders poked awkwardly into the air no longer able to give support. In most cases, it was hard to imagine what type of building previously existed. Most lay in heaps of brick and steel.

As the scene kept unfolding I saw Jesus first walking amidst this vast rubble. His countenance was circumspect, clearly inspecting every detail. It was as though He wanted to be sure the destruction was sufficient, that it would be impossible for the buildings to stand again by being merely repaired. New buildings would have to rise.

Then Jesus did a remarkable thing. He stepped into the center of a once standing edifice. His person began to grow. His very body extending out and up until it filled the space once occupied by material. Then this process was repeated over and over as Jesus Himself was now filling every place where there once was a building. The size, height and shape of each building were not identical, but there was no mistaking that Jesus was in all, and through all.

Then I began to be lifted up to view this vision from a new perspective. I went up as well as back away from the scene like a zoom lens being retracted. Now the distinct definition of Jesus in every building began to fade and a new image of one personage of Jesus began to dominate the entire picture. A new expanding edifice rose steadily out of this changing scene. The buildings all merged into one and the one was Jesus Himself. I knew a building was there, but our Lord engulfed its identity. He was the building(s) and the building(s) Him.

Then I rose further up and away from this scene. From this greater distance Jesus was clearly seen rising up and filling an area that looked first like a city, then a region, then a nation, then a continent. The upward and outward distancing of myself continued until I could see the whole earth and Jesus standing on the sphere. While His feet were in one place, they seemed to "melt" and flow around the entire earth making it clear that He was on all the earth and not only a part of it.

The Lord made me to understand that the vision was dramatically depicting a divine takeover and makeover of the church. The reason for using a bombing scene to illustrate this process is because some churches and leaders already feel like a bomb has hit their churches. Actually, the Holy Spirit, being freshly poured out, has so powerfully hit some churches that some or all of their usual activities have been interrupted. Some are completely discontinued. The new wine and old wineskins are incompatible. One or both will be lost if a new container for the wine isn't provided soon (Mt. 9:17).

Some of God's children have thought the manifestations of the outpouring were the end in themselves. The joyousness, the falling out under the power, the different statements resulting from someone being freshly touched by the Holy Spirit are part of the church being reintroduced to the Holy Spirit. The behaviors are more signs of what God wishes to do with the church:

1. Cause it to cease from its labors.
2. Give it more "downtime" to know Him.
3. Enable the church to do what it hadn't been able to do before because it wasn't relying on the Holy Spirit.

The Lord closely inspected the "remains" of the church. He walked circumspectly through the rubble making sure what had to be destroyed was and that it would be impossible to restore the building. It would have to be rebuilt. He led me to understand that the destruction caused by a bombing was to be seen not merely as destruction but de-structuring which would be followed by a restructuring. It is also to serve as notice that every man's work will be tried as by fire (I Cor. 3:11-15). So, He is giving us time to get it right. In reality, except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psa. 127:1). Only a little of each building remained as representations of what had been originated by Him.

The Lord led me to further know that under the anointing of their gifting many apostles and prophets would actually be involved in destructuring churches by revealing certain activities of churches that are not fulfilling any present purpose of God, and thus bring them to an end. It is in part their governmental function to set things in order (Titus 1:5). The anointing to do this is the same as that given to Jeremiah in Jer. 1:10. This anointing includes not just rooting out, pulling down and destroying, but building and planting. Thus many churches, their leaders and members are going to have fresh new starts. There will be refocusing of ministries and resources and a new excitement to see the building of the church. Many will join in this restructuring as their giftings are identified and released. The church is a Body, not a building and every member must function to its fullest extent.

The most profound action of Jesus was when He stepped into the center of the remains of a church and then filled it. He was identifying what church is. It is He, He is the Head and we are His Body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. We are not what fill the church. But Him in us all, thus filling all. It is not just a metaphor.

In expressing Himself within the Body, He also defines the function of every gifting since every gifting is an aspect of His life when lived out on the earth prior to the cross. After His resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Father then sent us the Holy Spirit, the Christ anointing or the Spirit of Christ. Now Jesus' life continues manifesting in the multitudes of believers who now make up His spiritual Body. Our identity is in Him. Our unity and oneness now agrees with the unity and oneness of the Trinity. As the Trinity is all of one Spirit so are we (Jn. 17:21). One Divine Spirit eternally manifested as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

This unity the Lord led me to understand doesn't require uniformity of activity for believers. In fact, this unity exists in the many distinctions in the Body. Within the Trinity, each Person of the Godhead performs different functions in relationship to our salvation and us. Yet, all have the same goal. The human body too has its members performing different activities at the same time all under the direction of the head. Our Head, Jesus, administers life in and through His Body the same way. So too, each church was different. These differences in churches (not disagreements) complimented and fulfilled the complete statement of Christ. The fusing of these distinct bodies into one, which ultimately filled the earth, depicts this. Our oneness is the function of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) and we are requested to maintain this unity of the Spirit with loving attitudes (Eph. 4:2-3) and not seek to attain unity by uniformity of activities.

Too often the insecurity of some leaders cause them to exert undo pressure on others in an attempt to have followers doing what that leadership thinks is right. When everybody doesn't walk in lockstep it is challenged as being out of unity. Similarly, many believers follow after every new trend, program, whatever, even searching to satisfy their uncertainties and insecurities. Jesus was clear on this subject in Mk. 9:38-40 and Jn. 21:21-22. We are going to know what Jesus is leading us in as we listen and follow Him as He clearly makes it known to each of us. A great release is coming and a new freedom as well.

Finally, we see Jesus' feet planted on the earth yet encompassing it. He wants us to be sure that all things are to be put under His feet (us, the feet of His Body) making all things subject to Him. His head is over all principality and power and it is through the church/body that His manifold wisdom is being made known (Eph. 1:21 & Eph. 3:10). Yes, His glory will be made known through the church throughout the world (Eph. 3:21 with Hab. 2:14).

The growth of the Body in this vision takes place effortlessly. The whole Body grew simultaneously, not a part at a time, but altogether. The reason is to emphasize the action of every part working towards the goal of building itself up in love. (Eph. 4:16 paraphrase is mine.) In other words, ministry in the Body is going to function in accordance with Eph. 4:12. The five-fold ministry must focus its approach to the Body in terms of equipping it. Then the congregation, too, must change from an audience, to participating members. To facilitate this, the "How to" of doing church will change so the function of Body growth will occur? The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ depends on every member, not just a few gifted in the pulpit. Even those in the pews will minister to those in the pulpits. Doing church is about to change.

Pastor Greg Manalli

Fellowship of Life Church
150 Sandbank Rd.
Cheshire, CT 06410

Hoping that you are edified in Christ by the judgement of this prophecy, I bless you all in His holy name.

Stephen L. Bening

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