FREE CHRISTIAN REPRINT ARTICLES
Christian Articles for All of your Publishing Needs!
Word Count: 2633
|Send Article To Friend||Print/Use Article|
by Mark Heatherly
5/15/2009 / Christian Living
Today the Lord has impressed upon me a most grievous & heavy burden which is the current state of the church. Please, I implore you! Listen to this message from your heart. Turn to the Lord in your spirit & allow Him to speak to you the truth in this little article.
Lord Jesus, I pray you cast aside the obstacles in the minds of your chosen which you have appointed to read this word of truth. Remove the foxes in the vineyard & the chains of the oppressor & enable that the eyes of the heart may be enlightened to see the truth. You are truth! There is no other!
Today, the church has become an institution!
It's members have become institutionalized!
Dear saint, let these words sink into your heart and give them honest consideration. Let them take root before you read on. The well being of your soul depends upon it!
Let me provide you with two definitions of the word "institutionalized" that you may meditate upon them, allowing he Lord to minister truth to your soul & spirit ! (Take your time . )
"lacking the will or ability to think and act independently because of having spent a long time in an institution such as a psychiatric hospital or prison "
(Note here the word psychiatric, which relates to the word psyche which is the mind of the soul.)
"having become an established custom or an accepted part of the structure of a large organization or society because of having existed for so long "
Again, I urge you to first meditate & consider these two definitions allowing the Spirit of truth to guide you into the truth, for the Truth shall set you free!
Now, trusting that you have done this I will expound on this in hopes of guiding you along to the truth, which is Christ & Him crucified! There is a small yet most profound scripture that we would do well to heed above all else, "Do not be lead astray from the simplicity & purity of devotion to Christ". This is the rock upon which the church is built & the foundation upon which we may mature individually! If now your heart sings out with praises to our God, then you may know that you are on the right path. If not, then seek the Lord while He may yet be found! You do not have much time.
"Do not be lead astray" means that we can & we will be LEAD ASTRAY if our foundation is not simplicity & purity of devotion to Christ! If this could be happening already in the early church then how much more so in the latter church! "For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?" Lk 23:31
Be sober & alert, for the devil roams around seeking whom he may devour! You can be sure the devil began a work to lead the believers away from the truth as soon as the truth was delivered in that day. Today that truth has been effectively diluted in the church & in the hearts of the saints to the extent that there is no real power & Life. The church is dead! The church is apostate! How is this possible you say? It has been lead astray from the purity & simplicity of devotion to Christ! It has merely the words of Christ instead of Jesus Christ, the Word! Today there is only the form of Godliness but little to no power! Lord have mercy , when we consider the statement Paul made to those in opposition to himself & the truth (which were as one) : "But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will; and I will know, not the word of them that are puffed up, but the POWER". Consider these also :
And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of POWER:
1CO 2:5 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the POWER of God.
1CO 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in POWER.
1CO 5:4 in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the POWER of our Lord Jesus,
My friend & brother, I can offer you no help if you only consider these words simply in the mind of your soul, but let them sink into your heart as you turn to the Lord in your spirit. These things are ONLY spiritually discerned.
Let me give you a test that you may know what kind of man you are of, whether it be of Adam or of Christ, the first man or the second, that you may know of which foundation you are attempting to build your house. If you are not sure about the word & the message of which I speak to this point, your foundation, the ground upon which you stand, & the man upon which you operate & live out from is indeed of Adam. This does not mean that you are not a Christian, it does mean however, that you have been lead astray from the purity & simplicity of devotion to Christ. This is a very serious matter ! The objective fact that Satan is defeated is HISTORY, yet it has to be made a subjective reality in you & me!
You must be clear that the purity & simplicity of devotion to Christ is a fundamental starting point (the foundation). Do not be deceived. This is not merely accepting Christ as your redeemer but instead it is taking Christ to be your way of life & source for living now from your spirit. If this is not first established & maintained, your house will not stand. You have nothing. You have become those then who are ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. What does this mean? To merely learn, to gain & apprehend knowledge & doctrines is the function of the soul. This is from the tree of Knowledge. The soul is the life & the very means of living by the first man, Adam. It is the foundation & ground of the soul life. This is the very soul-life of which Jesus spoke saying "you must deny your soul-life". He said this knowing that it is a source & foundation of living to which Adam was confined to live. This must be denied SO THAT one may begin to lay another foundation, the spirit-life. This life is bound to Christ in singleness & purity of heart. It becomes now the new life source & well-spring from which the new man draws his life, source & power of living.
Again, if you do not know of the things of which I now speak , then your basis for life & living yet remain from the old man. Your thinking & your foundation are still of the old man. Your foundation is not the rock of Christ, not yet. Forget about doctrines , knowledge & teachings! Your means of operation are still confined to the soul, you are still of Adam , the first man. You have not made the transformation unto the second man, Jesus Christ.
This leads me back to the word the lord gave me.Institutionalized: "lacking the will or ability to think and act independently because of having spent a long time in an institution such as a psychiatric hospital or prison " Psychiatric refers to the psyche of the soul which is today's ground of teaching & learning instead of the spirit & power.
"Having become an established custom or an accepted part of the structure of a large organization or society because of having existed for so long " This is the strict & formal religious forms, functions & practices of the institutional church today. These are largely evidenced by the clergy/laity system in which a few men exercise superiority & control over the body instead of encouraging & facilitating the proper functioning & participation of all the members in the meetings.
The word is living & active. The church today is dead. The word is the Lord. The Lord is God the Father, Jesus Christ, the son & the Holy Spirit in your inner spirit. The church has become nothing but the dead teachings & doctrines in your outer soul. You must realize this ; the doctrinal teachings you are hearing may have much truth but the issue is not the words ! The issue is from whence comes the words ! Does it issue forth from the psyche of the teacher or does it find it's issue & source from the Spirit & power! It must be the latter or it does not & cannot produce fruit. Life begets life & that which is of the Spirit is spirit. I feel I cannot emphasize this point enough. What we need is newness of Life (Zoe) ! Anyone who has seriously read the bible can attest to the fact that there seems to be a great lacking in the church today. There is no power. There is no power because the saints are limited to the confines of their soul (mind, will & emotions). Yes, there is the experience of outward gifts such as tongues & such in some denominations but this is only an outward manifestation & is largely done out of context & improperly besides. I have not seen in such ones the power & the life of which I speak.
Now, let me give you another test. When you hear the living word, your spirit will be quickened & built up & you will have a "knowing" that is above merely the level of the mind in your soul. This is very different from today's stimulating the mind, will & emotions of the man. If your mode of operating is still confined to the level of your mind, will & emotions you can hear the word & perhaps even have some understanding but being confined to the soul only, your spirit is deprived. You might even be able to correctly teach a doctrine that you have learned but you cannot honestly live it because it is confined to the lower level of your soul. This explains why saints know many teachings & doctrines yet live a life of many failures. The power to live is deep within the spirit but the outer shell of the soul has not been broken for the release of the spirit.
Let us look at this scripture & may the Lord open your eyes. "For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." This describes the fundamental working of the Holy Spirit to give us the starting point & foundation upon which we may begin to build. It is the necessary dividing of the spirit & soul that we may thus be enabled to live & operate in newness of life; the Life of Christ within our spirit. Anything less, & you build in error. Anything else & your building is faulty. This is the state of the church today !
Today's church has become an institution built by man. Those who participate in it are thus institutionalized. (See prior definition.) Jesus warned the religious people at that time just as He also warns us today against the teachings of man. What are teachings of man? Let me explain again & listen carefully.
Teachings, in & of themselves are merely words. The difference is thus the source or the fountain from which they come. There are two & only two sources. They are symbolized in two trees ; the tree of life (Jesus Christ) & the tree of the knowledge of right & wrong (Satan). One fountain is Christ & can only come forth from deep within the spirit, the other is from Satan & is expressed out from the soul. The soul is contaminated by the flesh which is Satan himself. Therefore we must be reduced from the soulish way of living to the way of living which is Christ (the way, the truth & the life) by way of the cross. Words then which come from the spirit have their source from Life & they thus impart Zoe Life to the spirits of others. These very same words (in fact they can be word for word) which come from the soul (or the mind, will & emotions of the soul of man) are dead because the soul of man is deadened through the fall. These are not from the well-spring of Life & they do not issue forth Life to the hearer. In fact, any such words can further enslave & corrupt the souls of men because they are dead words falling upon dead ears.
What we have today are merely the teachings of man which have taken the shape & form of worldly wisdom. They are empty scriptural words. They are clouds without rain. They have become psychological, only appealing to the soul's mind (the psyche). Their effectiveness therefore is limited in power being limited to the confines of the soul. They are not spiritual & they do not contain the power of LIFE! Instead they enslave & institutionalize the hearers so that the religious leaders & the religious followers have reverted back to the ways of the Pharisees . They have become once again, the blind leading the blind. We must be followers of Christ not followers of men & their empty & dead teachings.
Dear saints, please let this become clear to you. You do not need more teachings & words! What you need is very simple & powerful. You need the Teacher & you need the Word! These are within you already. Today's teachers would have you follow & rely upon them instead of Christ! This is heresy. Anyone who has the Lord should allow the word of life to come forth & minister life to the hearers by pointing to the purity & simplicity of devotion to Christ & Him crucified! Why dear saint, does this word say "and Him crucified"? It is because we must follow Him whre He went. We cannot follow Him until we too are on the ground of crucifixion. He was crucified, died, was buried & then resurrected. We can afford to do no less! To follow him is thus ; He was crucified, we must bear our cross; He died, our souls must be as though they were dead; He rose again, we must live as those alive from the dead in newness of life! This in a word is CONSECRATION. This is to dedicate somebody or something to a particular purpose. This dedication of life & purpose is the absolute singleness & purity of devotion to Christ. This can only be accomplished by submitting one's soul-life to be crucified, buried & resurrected to a new way of living out from your spirit in newness of life. What we need therefore is not more words & teachings but Life. Resurrection life, which of necessity issues forth out of death. Death to the soulish, Adamic life.
I encourage you to break free from the confines of the outer man & the deadness of the institutionalism of the traditional church. I do not say forsake the assembling together & fellowship with the saints but avoid the emptiness of teachings & seek the Teacher!
The Spirit of truth will guide you unto all truthif you let Him.
I make my writings available to all, but I would very much like to hear from those who have questions or comments or are built up & enriched & also from those who wish to use my writings for reprint.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Mark Heatherly
Like reading Christian Articles? Check out some more options. Read articles in Main Site Articles, Most Read Articles or our highly acclaimed Challenge Articles. Read Great New Release Christian Books for FREE in our Free Reads for Reviews Program. Or enter a keyword for a topic in the search box to search our articles.
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.