Report From The Tower
This is the word the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I was revisiting the subject of single pastor churches and the whole mess that is modern day Christianity and the structure that we operate under. The Spirit led me to take a look at Acts 1:20, a scripture that is very familiar to me:
"For it is written in the book of Psalms (quoting Psalms 69:25), Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein; and his bishoprick let another take."
Peter was saying, by the Holy Spirit, that Judas was the fulfillment of this prophecy from Psalm 69, made a thousand years earlier. I was looking at it when suddenly, I saw something that I had never seen before. This scripture says, by the Holy Spirit, that Judas Iscariot, along with the other eleven disciple/apostles, occupied the office of bishop (Greek episkopeo).
Now, I want all of you to think very carefully what that means. Those twelve disciple/apostle/bishops had it drilled into them, over and over, by their master, that they were not to engage in lordship over one another. They were not to engage in worldly arguments over who was the greatest, but they were to distinguish themselves through service to everyone they encountered. They were to be a band of equal brothers. They were equal in terms of their office, but in terms of function, only one, Peter, preached where we have a biblical record of it. Matthew and John gave us their gospels and writings. Judas fell away, replaced by Matthias. So, of that group of twelve early bishops, we have no bible record of preaching or writing by nine of the twelve, yet they were equal with the others in terms of office and apt to teach. They were equal disciples/apostles/bishops/elders/pastors, even though they were not immediately in the forefront of the teaching and preaching. For, you see, the words describing these offices are used interchangeably to describe the same office in Paul's letter to Titus. Let us take a look.
Titus 1:5 "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.....v7..For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God, not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;"
I wonder if you can see why the Holy Spirit uttered the word "Misfits" to me as I pondered on this revelation to me from Acts 1:20. The implication from all of the scripture where elders are discussed is that in each place where there was a church, Paul directed that there should be multiple elder/pastor/bishops appointed in each place, yet many today have the idea that a bishop or a pastor is a solitary figure who sits as a king over a kingdom. But, it was not this way from the beginning. The apparent intent of the Holy Spirit is clear: that there are many men who have been either unwilling or unable to start their own 501c3 church ministry. Likewise, these same men have been unrecognized and have not been appointed as elders, bishops or pastors in their congregations. Many of them have been viewed as threats by the hireling pastor, and have been chased away. Others are more revelatory, but not charismatic enough in their speaking or their appearance to attract a following, and are simply told to be quiet, so they receive elder level revelation and the church never finds out about it, because they are given no place. Over time, these misfits find less and less reason to attend meetings. They are then led by the Holy Spirit to stay at home. This, I am told by the Holy Spirit, is the reason why our single pastor headed churches are filled with women and void of men. Where there are men in these assemblies, they are silent.
The Holy Spirit has taught me about a phenomenon that occurs as the Holy Spirit is becoming grieved with a particular assembly. He will begin to "flash" His presence ON and OFF during the praise and worship in the meeting. Have you ever experienced this? It is a warning, just like a flashing red light. In the same way, it is a warning to an assembly when elder level men who are not recognized as such in the congregation begin to sometimes attend, and sometimes stay at home. I have taken note that the Holy Spirit operated in "flash mode" for several years in an assembly where I served, and He has now begun to operate in flash mode in the assembly where I have recently been in attendance. I take careful note when the Holy Spirit is NOT present during worship, even if he only departs during a song or two. The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS present when I am at home, lifting up my hands to the Lord and worshiping Jesus. The fact that He departs, even for a short time, should be taken as a severe warning, but is unnoticed by most believers. Sometimes, an unrecognized, or misfit elder, will stay at home, and it will be noticed by some. It should be regarded as a warning as well.
God is very serious about this abomination of the single pastor/elder/bishop church structure. He is going to utterly destroy it! I will link this article to the harlot church superpage on my website, where you can find the other articles that I have written about this subject. You can access that "superpage" from the front page of the website at USAPROPHET.COM or go directly to the page from this link: Harlot Church-Synagogue of Satan!
John wrote about the dawn of this evil spawn of clergy in his third epistle. The book of 3rd John is THE LEAST TAUGHT book in the bible if the second verse regarding prosperity is ignored. No harlot church pastor will dare preach from that book from that point on. I have never, at any time, in person, on TV, or on radio, heard any pastor/teacher speak from this segment of scripture.
John wrote not as an apostle, but as "The elder", to Gaius, who was wellbeloved by John. Gaius is not addressed as an elder or a pastor, so something must have happened to him. Some report must have reached John that caused John to have a heart of deep concern for Gaius, but at the same time, John says of Gaius that the brethren came to visit that assembly and reported back to John that Gaius walked in the truth. From verse five, we can conclude that Gaius had treated the brethren and strangers who visited well as they were passing through his territory.
We find this report, beginning in verse 9: "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."
A hundred years ago, C.I. Scofield ably noted in his study bible introduction to 3 John that "The aged Apostle had written to a church which allowed one Diotrephes to exercise an authority common enough in later ages, but wholly new in the primitive churches. Diotrephes had rejected the apostolic letters and authority. It appears also that he had refused the ministry of visiting brethren (v.10), and cast out those who received them. Historically, this letter marks the beginning of that clerical and priestly assumption over the churches in which the primitive church order disappeared."
John closed the letter to Gaius by remarking that He had much to write, but elected not to do it with ink and pen. Some things are better delivered in a private setting. Also, note that John gave Gaius no order to leave that church or to stay in it. That must be the province of the Holy Spirit. John simply encouraged the wounded brother to "follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
Today, there are men who are variations in the similitude of Diotrephes all over this world where the harlot church doctrine of the Nicolaitians has spread the clergy/laity divide. Wherever the priestly class has hegemony, they will sometimes do this part or that part of the evil worked by Diotrephes. Sometimes, these priests/pastors will be functioning well, but still going along with the priestly system, because it has become the rule of the day that the people want it this way. This priestly structure is sufficient to defile the whole lump.
Jeremiah remarked in 5:31 that "A wonderful (NIV-shocking) and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means (NIV-by their own authority); and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?" And so, after many years, this abomination has become the horrible normalcy, and the words of Jeremiah 4:22 are repeated, once again, to God's people: (NIV)"My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good." Indeed, the whole of Jeremiah's second message to Judah is now fulfilled again in the sight of an obstinate nation, for 6:9 (NIV) "This is what the Lord Almighty says; Let them glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine; pass your hand over the branches again, like one gathering grapes. To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed, so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it."
When the church lies with the dust in our land, and our nation is ruled by men of strange speech, 5:19 NIV "and when the people ask, Why has the Lord our God done all this to us? You will tell them, As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own."
This was first proclaimed in Judah. It is now also proclaimed in America!
Stephen L. Bening
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"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matt 4:4
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