God's Wrath on the Babylon of the Institutional Church?
Friday Afternoon, October 03, 2003
A question from someone new to New Wineskins:
Hey... Lately here we’ve been discussing organized churches and the spiritual nature of them.... The harlotry of the thing, etc.
Actually, I’ve been really torn up over this, seeing the body in the organized churches. Some here believe that anyone associated with an organized church is going to face the Lord’s wrath when He returns.... I’m trying to figure out why I feel God’s presence when I’m in the midst of people worshipping in organized churches. We go round and round here discussing, “How can God’s presence be in the midst of a bunch of people singing songs to Him that don’t live for Him the rest of the week... that follow a man (pastor) instead of the Lord, that have little to no relationship with each other, etc.?” Am I totally deceived? Is it not the presence of the Lord? Or is what I’m feeling, just His Spirit bearing witness to the words of praise, regardless of the people singing them? I don’t know. Can you help? Your sister, Holly
Holly, : ) “Some here believe that anyone associated with an organized church is going to face the Lord’s wrath when He returns....” This is a VERY, VERY WRONG VIEWPOINT. Jesus’ BLOOD is the only TRUE issue related to “the Lord’s Wrath”!!! Now, each will “give an account for deeds done in the body” and many will have their work “burnt up” because it is nothing but “wood, hay, and stubble.” Wood, hay, and stubble are cheap and earthy materials. They, unlike gold, silver, and precious stones, can be acquired easily just laying around on the surface with no need for mining deeply. Wood, hay, stubble are, amongst other things, the “ministries” and “institutions of men.” These are prime examples of Ishmael—born half of God’s promise and heritage, and half of the “Egyptian woman” who is of worldly thinking and sins. Of Egypt’s “wisdom” and “merging” with God’s True Idea, the Lord said, “Get the slave woman and her child OUT of my house!” Ishmael is unwelcome. And then God cared for them in the wilderness, even with some miracles—but, it was out of compassion, not out of affirmation. There is a huge difference. But He did involve Himself somewhat, even though He had them thrown OUT of what He was REALLY doing.
But, the Lord’s WRATH, for “attending” something? NO! That is a BLOOD issue, ALONE! It is certainly a “work burnt up” (1Cor.3) issue, which ought to be very sad for those “builders” (1Peter2) who build out of man’s traditions, rituals, hierarchies, and disobedience to so much of God’s Heart and Command (Heb.3:12-14, 1Cor.12-14, Acts 2:42-47, Luke 9:57-62, 1Cor.5, etc).
The “leaven in the batch” in ALL institutions (and most “house churches”) because of lack of discernment, lack of courage, lack of passion and love for Jesus, disobedience to Commands (“If you love Me, you will obey Me.”), love of their own sins, lack of apostolic Quality of Life...... that “leaven” WILL “leaven the whole batch” and rob EVERYONE of God’s Highest Intent for their lives, beyond question.
This is heartbreaking for the Father, but He WILL have His House that is visible (“all men will see how you Love one another” as you “shine like stars in the universe” and “the Bride makes herself ready” becoming an “equal yoke” with “ever-increasing Glory, by the Lord who is the Spirit”). There is great loss in the institutions, and with those who claim “house church” but are not. But, this loss is very different than awaiting the Lord’s Wrath—and shame on anyone who does not so See and appreciate the Blood of Jesus that they could say such a thing. Such pride is as destructive as the “institution” is. And, by the way, an addendum to Keith Green’s quote would read like this: “Going to church, whether an institution OR a living room, doesn’t make a person a Christian any more than sleeping in the garage makes a person a car.”
It is about bringing pleasure to Jesus, and maximizing growth into His Image and Intimacy—which cannot be had particularly well in Laodicea, whether institutional Laodicea OR living room Laodicea. Anyone can make music that stirs the flesh, even the religious flesh. Anyone can give stirring “speeches” that make the flesh, or religious flesh, rise up to great emotional highs. History is filled with such examples, for both “good” and for “evil.” This is NOT how anything from GOD must be evaluated. Jesus said it is fruit that gives us insight into authorship, not even miracles (Mat.7)!!
Music and speeches are small potatoes compared to miracles right in front of you, and even that is insufficient to mark something as “from God.” Are men and women being brought into the image and likeness of Jesus of Nazareth, or is leaven being left unresolved, therefore undoing the Work of God in everyone? Is the Body of Christ “from the least to the greatest” looking like 1Cor.12—God’s PLAN, or are the gates of Hell prevailing by sin, teen rebellion, divorce, independence, pride, gossip, worldliness, and the like? If it’s the latter, it is not the Church Jesus is building, according to Jesus Himself! Will that (the fact that leaven runs rampant and the gates of Hell are prevailing) “stunt” someone’s growth that IS in the Blood of Jesus, but is corrupted by “bad company” and Ishmael’s lukewarmness (though he has a “family resemblance” to Abraham, of course)? Beyond question. “A little leaven leavens the whole batch,” saith the Lord.
But, does that mean that God will bring fury and wrath upon anyone who is genuinely under the Blood, marked clearly (read 1Jn.1-1Jn.3 for “proofs” of Salvation) by the Spirit’s Presence? Without these “proofs”, they are NOT Saved, according to God. These “marks” of the “deposit guaranteeing the Inheritance” are listed so that we will not accept the many counterfeit christians (“MANY” will say to me on that Day, “Lord, LORD!” but I never knew them). A person that says they are a christian and tells a marvelous story is not necessarily Saved, according to Jesus. The “proof” is in the accountable Presence of the Creator of the Galaxies living within, and showing Himself miraculously in a person’s life. This is what the Bible says. All who claim to be christians are NOT, and only those who show the marks of the “Downpayment that guarantees the Inheritance” (1Jn.1—1Jn.3, etc) ARE Saved by the Blood. This is one of the great tragedies of the institutions and the fake “house churches”—they mix the Holy with the profane, and fake Christians never have to face Reality, because they are ALLOWED to be self-deceived by the poor Quality of Life that will never expose them and bring them to the Cross, for REAL.
Yet, for those who ARE marked by the Spirit and are THEREFORE washed in His Blood: “There is NO condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus” and there will be no “WRATH” for never making it out of the institution. They will pay a high price for this sloppiness, perhaps losing their children or spouse to the world. And, they certainly will never get CLOSE to who they were to have Become for Him (“a little leaven leavens the WHOLE batch”). But, even though they will suffer great loss with their “works burnt up”, if they are TRULY in the Blood, marked by the Holy Spirit’s Evidences (1Jn.1—1Jn.3), then they will not experience His wrath. And, not only will a Blood Bought, Spirit Indwelt One not suffer His wrath for such ignorant choices and weakness, but ONE WHO IS TRULY IN HIS BLOOD, SPIRIT INDWELT, WILL NEVER EVEN COME TO TRIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is the nature of Grace, Substitution, and Love. The sins of those who TRULY are abandoned in Faith, into the Atonement Death and Life of Jesus, are forgiven—as far as the East is from the West. All accusations against those who have given all to Him on their “daily Cross” are THROWN OUT OF COURT, and NEVER COME TO TRIAL AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s hard to experience “wrath” when you are on angels’ shoulders being ushered into a PARTY for those who are IN CHRIST by dying to self and calling on Him, and allowing the Lamb’s Blood to wash them. There IS NOT EVEN A TRIAL for such as these!!! Hallel-jah!!! Got it?!!