Report From The Tower
John brought his brother in law Jimmy into the repair effort. Jimmy owns a vehicle repair shop and John helps him there. Both of them are pretty solid mechanics. This truck problem had them both perplexed. The truck was well behaved at the shop and on the analyzer. Why did this truck have no power? No one could figure it out over a period of a couple of months. Research was done. Other friends were called. Parts were changed out on this hunch and that hunch and the problem persisted. Then finally, after a few months, they came upon the solution. Today, the truck runs in perfect mechanical condition.
I hear the Lord saying: "Why cannot you leaders of my church do as these country boys have done with their truck? You know that your churches have little to no power, yet you make no effort to "fault-trace" in your churches or to diligently seek out the reasons for your powerlessness?"
We can read about our trucks in books and in online articles, where we can find out exactly how much horsepower and torque the truck engine should generate. We can know the top speed of the vehicle without even turning it on. Why? We have the specifications.
We have the specifications for the church too: they are found in the bible. We know that Jesus Christ imbued His church with power and with authority over the devil, but something is desperately wrong. Wherever I go, I find that these churches are like John's truck! They have no power, yet seemingly no one is taking the thing to a mechanic or doing any fault-tracing. No one seems to care very much that miracles are not happening. We can do no great signs or wonders and the church can barely get anyone healed when it prays, but the band plays on.
Can it be true that we care more that our trucks have power and run according to spec than we care about God's Church?
I was preaching and ministering on Saturday night, May 21 in Georgia at a meeting. The Saints there are wonderful people and ministry is headed by five elders. I spoke about Ezekiel 17 and how the church is to be a low spreading vine, like Kudzu. Kudzu in your fence row is almost impossible to kill: ALMOST. My wife was not familiar with the term.
The little ministry where I was ministering is called to be that low spreading vine, but they are wondering about the future and we could not do any great works there that night, which left me puzzled and questioning the Lord as we drove back to our motel room. There was significant and constant presence of God but no glory, but I just could not isolate what was wrong: what was blocking Godís glory? The ministry is headed by five elders, so what could be wrong?
Then, at midnight, I was sitting with the leaders and I inquired and found out that all of them were also in Sunday morning churches, under Senior pastors. I knew in my spirit that I had my answer.
Then, we got back to our hotel room after midnight and this email arrived. It was from Anthony and Cheryl Moore of Montana. Cheryl had a dream a couple of nights back and she knew it was a warning to the church. "In the dream, "I saw myself working with vines on fencing in the vegetable garden, I (she) had wondered why the vines were not growing too good? Then it came to me in the Dream that the ground was Poisoned."
I had the further illumination from the Lord on my answer: the low spreading vine cannot flourish in poisoned ground. Kudzu can be killed by pouring motor oil along the fence line and so, the presence of the Senior pastor system poisons the ground. Membership in any church where a Senior pastor is named as a position, or where one is named on the church bulletin, or where one is named on the church sign out on the street will poison the ground of your lives. Some of these leaders in this ministry defended their Senior pastors. They said that these men do not operate as controllers, manipulators or dominators. I told them that it does not matter. The structure of the Senior Pastor system is sufficient to defile the whole lump. It will block the glory of God from coming into your life, wherever you go. It will deprive you of divine protection in the day of trouble. You will not be found worthy to escape what is coming upon the Earth if you cling to your Senior pastor headed churches, says the Lord.
Most of you will question this and say you have never heard any of this before in church and that is probably right, but your bible has much to say about the harlot church and Mystery Babylon and the Mesopotamian city is not being referenced, but the church.
Reformation commentators and authors held with great unanimity that Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17-18 signified the city of Rome and rule by the Papacy. Reference: Matthew Henry, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, Joseph Mede, Thomas Newton and E.B. Elliot were prominent among them. These authors are said to hold forth under the Historicist School of prophetic interpretation.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia is freely available as part of the freely available E Sword computer Bible. It has a number of references and explanations of these things.
Clarence Larkin is recognized by most as the father of the futurist school of interpretation, which most bible teachers today advocate (not me, although I am a modified futurist). Larkin, in his book, DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH, written in 1920, beginning at page 300, principally agrees but does separate the Revelation 17-18 topic of MYSTERY BABYLYON into these components:
Note that the Revelation 17 MYSTERY BABYLON is not simply "BABYLON": it is also a MYSTERY. It is the mother of harlots as well, which means that MYSTERY BABYLON has harlot offspring. My contention and belief is that modern Senior Pastor headed churches are a perfect fit to qualify as one of these harlot offspring daughters.
WHAT SHOULD YOU ALL DO?
Senior Pastor: Resign your position immediately! Demand that your church raise up and ordain a plurality of Elders. Those of you who are members of churches where one Pastor or Senior Pastor has that ruling position, or where a single Pastor is named on a church bulletin or a church sign lists a single Pastor or a Senior Pastor should insist that this un-biblical practice must be changed. Each of you must LEAVE such a church if no such change is made. It does not matter if all the function is correct and if the man or woman shares the pulpit or the decision making: the STRUCTURE ALONE is sufficient to defile the whole lump! Each and every one of you will be defiled spiritually if you do not come out of such a church and everything you do in the ministry will be defiled. God will not be able to do any great works with such a church or with any ministry that you are a leader of or a worker in. You will defile it by your presence. Furthermore, under the criteria of Luke 21:35-38, you will not be found worthy to escape that which is coming upon the Earth. You will be caught up in great tribulation and you do not have that one with you that is necessary for divine protection: namely the glory-fire presence of the Living God!
"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." Revelation 18:4-8
Read the Ezekiel style open vision that I had in 1991 that started all of this in my life which is entitled Defining Vision
Stephen L. Bening
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