"Church", The Golden Calf of Today?
...just real quickly I could try and state some type of resume to justify of what I'm sharing but I'm a nobody ..in fact the reason I write this to you is out of personal desperation and not out of some type of having arrived! I would love to sit here and expound on why I feel it's so critically important to realize the times we live and am confident I could state the eschatological argument (Greece is having a run on banks ..please see Drudge), of why this is so URGENT!
after much praying and wrestling and saying "what's my motive? why God?" it boils down to this, I'm a husband and Father of a blended family of 5, I call the USA my home...I want to be apart of a move of God in my hometown, one that polarizes and unites and heals and then reaps the harvest our Lord desires..I want my children to see a heaven sent biblical revival, I want to be bolder in my personal outreach to those I know I'm ashamed that I'm not I need God's presence more than ever. I believe in this message ..I believe it's from our Father's Heart for such a time as this! However I will hit send and then go and sit and squirm an hear the thoughts of "who are you to say such things?" "ahh just go play golf" "or just chill out" "but the Spirit of God in Me says to share what He lays on my heart so I'm trying to be that good and faithful servant"
***Please withhold your initial reaction to what I'm about to share, because I'm NOT advocating we shouldn't go to Church in the least UNLESS going to Church is absent of the heart of this message***
In addressing the Church of Ephesus ..Our Lord called out in Revelation 2:4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.
Our Lord was holding up a mirror to His People to show them their current state and It's my prayer that IF you are reading this, that You will allow God to reveal His desire that we too would look "at how far we have fallen" as The Church as a whole in this time we now find ourselves, because we are running out of time to be what we were created be and do the job we were saved to do ...I don't know about you but I want to hear "well done thou Good and Faithful Servant" This message is coming from a chief of all sinners, a divorcee, the least of all but it's heavy upon my heart for this area of which I live and I've been praying and listening and please forgive me but I pray you hear this too!
"Church" The Golden Calf of Today?
In the Book of Exodus we read of a time when God was moving on behalf of His people Israel in a mighty way, having delivered them out of Egypt through incredible acts of His might (Splitting the Red Sea, allowing them to cross on dry land) saving them from the most powerful of armies...showing Himself strong and having "been there" for Israel you would have thought they would want to "know this God"
During this incredible time in history, God was working through Moses on behalf of His People and had come to a time He specifically instructed Moses to gather the People to HIMSELF near Mount Sinai, that they might hear Him speak to Moses but due to fear and their lack of knowledge ...the Children of Israel refused to go near the mountain and sent Moses alone .they were rejecting an opportunity to draw close to The Lord who had called them out and instead were asking for a man to "go and hear and come an tell" them what God was saying.
During one such visit we find Moses is gone unto the Mountain of the Lord for forty days and nights and while he was away the people assembled and were disgruntled and asked Aaron to "make us some gods" and it was there that the Golden Calf was created IN PLACE of Worshipping Almighty God, they decided to worship in a way of their own doing (SELF).
Almighty God Himself had sent out and invitation through Moses to bring the people near,but instead of taking that invitation to go near to GOD Himself, they chose to stay far away and worship "in their own style and will" erecting a form of worship absent of God.
What about us and what is going on now in so many churches?
Jesus said "If two or three are gathered in my name" I am there, we are also told that God never leaves us ...that He is Omni Present ...we have been told we now have free access to boldly go behind the veil and approach God's very own throne of Grace to obtain Mercy in the times of need and in fact we have been taught when we pray, We can call Him "Our Father"
Yet Sadly, this great gift of God's VERY NEAR PRESENCE has been shunned and exchanged for "CHURCH"
In Church services all across this nation ...people gather and go through rituals and traditions and sing songs and listen to sermons trusting that those "sermon's" are seasoned from God ...but sadly many of those sermon's are googled or regurgitated copies of the "in thing" of christendom.
NOT messages ..."hot off the altar" ...ya know hearing what God wants to say??? I mean He is a Living God and does have things He wants to say you might say well He's given us His Word already YES but what is He saying from His Word today?? That takes discernment and hearing and only comes from spending time with Him!
People get up and "go to church" and do this sunday after sunday ...believing THIS is the high calling of Christianity (hearing a sermon) and that they have fulfilled their duty but this is soooo far from what is on the heart of our God for us.
We weren't created and called to traditions and rituals and services, we were reconciled into Covenant Relationship with Almighty God and told we are without restriction and that we can KNOW HIM ..in fact we are told He is to be our First Love. The Greatest Commandment given unto us is Mathew 22:37 "You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, Soul and Strength"
God has told us to "gather in His name" ...why? So He can show up ...The Holy Spirit was sent to Point Us to Him ..Jesus Came to reconcile us back to the Father...they are all working to get us to awake to His very near presence in our lives and that we would awake to the fact that it's no longer us that lives but Christ in us, the Hope of Glory and even ask "know you not that You are the temple of the Holy Spirit?"
The Reason we are such a powerless Church in this day and hour is we have LOST our First Love and We have NOT Lost His Presence but we have Lost the Awareness of it.
Peter at the Gate beautiful in the book of Acts Knew what He had, when a lame beggar ...asked for money, "Silver and Gold have I not, but what I do have I give to you , In the Name of Jesus Rise and Walk" ...what did Peter Have? He Had God's Presence...it wasn't Him, It was Christ.
Our Lord would say "repent Church and do the first works" ...Fall back in Love with Me and seek My Presence!!! Realize what I have given you, "everything pertaining to Life and Godliness" MYSELF
I have gone to many churches where there is no knowledge of His Presence, God is treated as someone you are talking about in a far and distant country or yonder year..."in the sweet by and by" or "back in a revival in 1970 something or back when I was pastoring this church God did this"
Or if it's not talking about God as If he's far away then it's the over hyped "super star" stealing the show promoting their latest and greatest revelation...marketing/selling and merchandising "the gospel" for self gain...Preaching and proclaiming God's Presence when in fact it's not Him but the Anti Him, working to deceive through false manifestations and experiences that do NOT line up with Scripture...
Very much like what happened while Moses was up on Mount Sinai actually spending time with God ...the people of Israel were erecting something they would act as if it were God, doing things in the name of God but was really what it was, a Golden Calf which was a form of adultery ...cheating on God, cheating themselves of experiencing the REAL THING.
God had given a call unto Himself and they forsook it for something else...And that is what has happened all across this nation we have forsaken The Real Thing for something else we "Go to Church" but are we "Going to God"?? Many churches are full of people but absent of the main attraction Ichabod should be written on the door post because God's True Glory has been exchanged for "Church" "having Church" "going through the motions of what that entails, exercising a process over and over ..sunday after sunday absent of the awareness of the Presence of God, THAT IS NOT WHAT WE WERE CREATED FOR, Nor what we were "saved to" or called to, rather we were created to Know and Fall in Love with an Almighty God as Our Everlasting Father through Covenant Relationship provided through the Shedding of His Son's Blood
We have all been called to God's Mountain to live in (Not just visit) His Omni Presence as Fish to Water but instead many live outside the gate of His Presence ..being destroyed for lack of knowledge (living carnal sinful lives) instead of flowing with rivers of living water (abundant life)
God has taught us all through out scripture of how we are to approach Him and even gave us a pattern of approaching Him to the Point of Him coming and revealing Himself to Man through the revelation of the Tabernacle
Psalms 24: Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior.
6 Such people may seek you
and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
we are told to enter His Presence with Thanksgiving in our hearts, and enter His Courts with Praise, He has told us that He inhabits the praises of His People, that No One comes unto Him Unless He draws them, ..we see in Jesus addressing the 7 Churches in Revelation that He knocks on the door's of our lives and "he that opens I will come in an fellowship and they will fellowship with me"
We are told through Isaiah 55:6 "Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near."
1 Chronicles 16:11 11 Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Again everything that Our Creator, Almighty God is about is that people would be "turned to Him (repent)" It's His Goodness that desires that ...and IF He is allowed to Show Up and Be Himself what will happen??
Jesus PROMISED, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself" and what happens when He's lifted up..
Luke 4:18 “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[j]
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD
It's His Heart to be Himself through Us, to Make Himself known in our lives and through our lives and when we come together He wants to show up and work through the giftings of His Body to exhort, and encourage and edify us to grow in knowledge and grace IN HIM...to grow closer to Him
John 5:39,40 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life
It's all about Him, He Himself is who we should seek when we come together, we should do whatever it takes to make sure He is there in our knowing ..Because He is There!!
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
In Jeremiah the 23rd, God speaks out in anger of the shepherds and prophets because they weren't turning the people to Him and away from Sin...(Repentance) ..instead they were promoting "tolerance" with soothsaying/feel good messages
9 My heart within me is broken
Because of the prophets;
All my bones shake.
I am like a drunken man,
And like a man whom wine has overcome,
Because of the LORD,
And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
For because of a curse the land mourns.
The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course of life is evil,
And their might is not right.
11 “ For both prophet and priest are profane;
Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the LORD.
16 Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“ Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘ The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘ No evil shall come upon you.’”
18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
21 “ I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.
23 “ Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
“ And not a God afar off?
What is he saying? that His People had forgotten the Presence of God and because of it they had turned to very sinful lifestyles and had invoked his Anger
Judgement Begins in the House of God, It's time to quit "playing Church" and realize that God has said "my House shall be called a House of Prayer"
Prayer is not a religious exercise ...it's communion with Almighty God Himself!! That's what Jesus came to do remember? to Reconcile lost Man back to the Father! That's what He gave His Life for restoring relationship!
And IF when we meet on sunday morning's or at anytime ...if He Himself is not the main and central part of the meeting then it's just religious dead work/total waste of time It's Just a Golden Calf event, absent of God ...why even bother? God desires Truth on the Inward parts of our lives...He searches our motives, why do we do what we do? Is it to be seen by men? is it to appease our conscience or is it to really seek to Know and Pursue and Love Our God? If we spend time in His Presence He is going to share His Heart and we will become full of passion and vision for why He made us .
The reason there is so little power in our Churches is because we have a form of godliness but No Presence, The reason we see so little true conversions is because instead of praying, we are too busy doing church stuff, we aren't called to do stuff for God, we are called to seek Him and then obey Him...obedience is better than sacrifice, IF we spend time with Him we will know His voice and hear it ...saying this is the way ..walk ye in it
It is my prayer that the lukewarm, backslidden and sleeping Church would Return to First Love, that this will be an alarm awaking and stirring us to our Highest Calling to Know Him and Make Him Known!!!
How can you know if your going to a Golden Calf Church instead of a place of meeting with God?
1. IF you go to church and Your Church never acts like God Himself is there, your Church is a golden Calf
2. If you never have serious points of prayer and intercession ..Your Church is a Golden Calf
3. If you never feel convicted about sin in your life, Your Church is a Golden Calf
4. If there is never any new birth (souls being saved) Your Church is a Golden Calf
5. If you never feel like falling on your face in awe because of the awareness of the very near presence of Almighty God ...your church is a golden calf
6. If there is no urgency to be about Your Father's Business, Your Church is a Golden Calf
7. If you have zero confidence that if you bring a lost friend to Church that they would see Jesus and be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgement ...your Church is a Golden Calf
8. If you doubt Jesus goes to your Church, Your Church is a Golden Calf
9. If there is no reverance or Godly Fear ...Your Church is a Golden Calf
10. If there is no passion for His Presence, Your Church is a Golden Calf
11. If your Church has no vision to see your area turned upside down, Your Church is a Golden Calf
12. If you can know the exact routine of the service and have no expectation of God moving, it's not a relationship your in, It's a ritual...get out ..cause that place is a Golden Calf
"Go to Church?" mormons go to church, demons go to church, jehovah witnesses go to church. And it's not all about just "relationship" Judas had a relationship with Jesus remember?
In the simplest of terms, if your not praying, your not obeying
If you say your having "holy ghost meetings" I doubt ya, because the Holy Ghost did not come to testify of Himself, He came to testify of Jesus
The Calling of the Called out ones is to assemble around and to The Lord of the House...JESUS
He must be Center Stage of any gathering or it's just a game/ theatre
If the Holy Spirit is Present to be Himself (not quenched or grieved) He will be Himself exalting the the Son Jesus and when Jesus is exalted the Holy Spirit will move upon that exaltation through Jesus AGAIN...as it is stated in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
If this is not taking place in your meetings and gatherings ...please don't be condemned but please stop and think and ask why? Could it be your assembling around a golden calf called "Church" and not Jesus Himself??
What needs to be done?
This is the Cry from Our Father's Heart for this hour I have no doubt.
Joel 2:12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”