Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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God Seeker

God Seeker

 

Ezra 8:22b The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.”

How many of us truly seek God? We seek a “good” church, an “inspiring” pastor, “insightful” teaching, “fulfilling” programs, “meaningful” fellowship, to be healed inside and out, to feel good about ourselves, and the list goes on. But how many of us truly seek God? Hosea 13:6

In general, most seem to be more concerned with finding the “right” church than spending time with God – seeking Him and communing with Him in His Word one-on-one as a passionate bride.

Interestingly in the past couple of years, I’ve noticed many of my acquaintances feeling restlessness in their spirits; something is missing, unfulfilling, and off. They assume it is time to find a new church. But what if that restlessness is God calling them to Him, not another church? God wants a personal intimate relationship with us, but most are too busy trying to cultivate a relationship with the “right” church. He is stirring spirits to draw near to Him. But instead of turning to God and seeking Him, they continue to seek what won’t fulfill.

Amos 5:5-6 But do not seek Bethel (house of God, church), Nor enter Gilgal, Nor pass over to Beersheba; For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And Bethel shall come to nothing. 6 Seek the Lord and live, Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And devour it, With no one to quench it in Bethel—

For years I grew up seeking the things of “Bethel” and my life was a mess. I had no idea what death and destruction filled my days because I was blinded to my own state as I was reassured by others I was on the right path. But now that I have been seeking God for some time the difference in my life between now and then is enormous. I still have a long way to go, but finally I am moving forward instead of circles. I was trapped in bondage, affliction, and pain. I was trapped in myself. But when I started seeking God– He starting bringing me into freedom, healing, truth, true life, peace, rest, and joy, because I was brought into Him. Most Christians are settling for a life far below what Christ came to give because they are seeking the wrong thing – the church system instead of Him.

Most have a religion not a relationship. Most seek Bethel, the church system, and its programs, teaching, fellowship, and leaders but not God. But without a heart after God all these things are meaningless. And this is why the church is in the state it is – far from truth and full of starving souls trapped in deception. Few seek to know God in His Word and trust Him to teach them about Him, but this is what He desires of us. And this is the path to true life.

Seeking God starts by abiding in His Word, one-on-one. The Bible is His Words to us. It peeks into His will, purpose, character, and heart drawing us closer to Him. Once we are building upon the foundation of His Word in our lives, not some other man’s truth or interpretation, then all our other actions are molded in His truth – prayer, worship, fellowship, meditation, and so on. Otherwise all we do is established upon sand and not the Rock.

God made it simple for us – seek Him, and He will take care of the rest Matthew 6:33. Who or what are you truly seeking? Now is the time for the deep honest reflection because those seeking Bethel will be lead astray because they are following man not God. Jeremiah 50:6

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.


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Leaving the Sanctuary

Leaving the Sanctuary

 

This is a hard blog for me to write because it is a hard message to hear, but I feel compelled in my spirit.

Lamentations 2:7 “The Lord has spurned His altar, He has abandoned His sanctuary; He has given up the walls of her palaces Into the hand of the enemy. They have made a noise in the house of the Lord As on the day of a set feast.”

The prophets speak of events happening in the last days; God leaving His sanctuary, people given over to a powerful delusion, His sanctuary being overrun with evil, and God’s people coming out to meet Him in the wilderness where He will provide for all their needs. (see link below for supporting verses) They talk about what the IC (Institutional Church) will become and it describes the IC today. The prophets wrote and recorded all this for our sakes. (Acts 3:24, Zechariah 7:12-13, Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:11) So that we would hear, be warned and protected when the IC has been overtaken by the enemy and get out so that we aren’t swept away in the delusion.

From what I read, I believe God has left the Institutional Church as mentioned verse Lamentations 2:7. But here is the glorious part of it – He is drawing closer than ever to His true church, the true body of Christ. God promises to never leave or forsake those who are truly His. With the downfall of the IC, He is calling His people to Him in His Word. And there He is revealing Himself unlike anytime before. He is their shepherd, teacher, counselor, guide . . . everything. (Ezekiel 34:23 , 1 John 2:27, Psalm 32:8) For those who put His Word above all others, abide in all of it, and seek God’s will not man’s, I believe will hear the call and follow their Shepherd’s voice. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

God isn’t forsaking the true body of Christ; He is calling out the true believers to be united to Him in truth and spirit. God is drawing closer than He ever has. He is revealing Himself in mighty ways in truth outside the system.

As when the Israelites wanted a king because God wasn’t enough, God isn’t enough for many believers. People are trusting man where they should be trusting God. They need a man between them and God and that is their downfall. When the IC becomes what it wasn’t intended to be God sets things straight. He did it before in the days when Jesus walked this earth and He is doing it again. The church structure served a purpose for a time, but I believe that time has come to an end.

Supporting Bible Verses


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Leaving the Institutional Church

Leaving the Institutional Church

Times are changing and many who say they are following God’s instruction to be watchful for the end, abiding in the Word of God, and trusting in God and not man are feeling led out of the Institutional Church, the man-made church system.

Below is a link to some of the letters they have written about their personal experiences, Letters from Leavers

All each one of us can do is to seek God and His truth in this area and not man’s.


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Babylon the Great – The Church System

Babylon the Great – The Church System

 

Could it be? Is it possible that the church, the institutional system, is an aspect of Babylon the Great spoken of in Revelations? This idea is a hard truth to swallow, but our spirits live on truth because it establishes our beliefs and thus our faith. Galatians 3:11 Faith isn’t worth much if it is in the wrong truth, therefore our duty is to seek out the truth.

1. Babylon the Great is the Mother of Harlots

Revelation 17:5 MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Babylon symbolizes a woman who played the harlot against God. The only ones who can play the harlot are those who profess to be united to God in the first place. You can’t cheat if you aren’t in a relationship.

Throughout the Word, God calls His people a harlot when they break their covenant with Him; they have left Him in their heats to follow other gods, other gospels, other Jesus’, other truths, while still carrying His name. He abolished the old covenant and established a new. Because Revelations talks about a time in the future, then the harlotry must be in regards to the new covenant, the only active one that means anything.

2. This woman is also referred to as the great city.

The great city is Jerusalem. Jerusalem symbolizes where God’s people reside. Matt 23:37

Revelation 17:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Revelation 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

We begin to see that this woman is headed toward a downfall so much so that she will become like Egypt and Sodom and God will deal with her as He dealt with them.

3. The woman is drunk with the blood of the saints.

Revelation 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

Those who drink the blood of the saints are of the church.

We have this example in the Pharisees. They called themselves children of Abraham; Jesus called them children of the devil. Talk about a mistaken identity. What happened with people in the church in Jesus’ day is happening today. The church started out in accordance to God’s ways, but then went its own way. Even to murdering the prophets, sound familiar? Matthew 23:31, 35, 37 John 8: 44 We can kill someone physically, but another way to kill them is the truth they stood for. We kill it by twisting it and not heeding it making it void and meaningless.

John marveled with great amazement, this truth is indeed shocking.

4. Babylon the Great has become a dwelling place of every foul thing.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.

The great city, the woman, played the harlot and turned symbolically into Babylon. Her downfall is so severe that she becomes a dwelling place of demons, where no good thing dwells.

1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

Babylon can’t be the world. The world has always been full of demons and lies because it is under the devil’s control. Only God’s people are separated out. So the world couldn’t become a dwelling place, it already is one. Therefore what has become inhabited is somewhere that wasn’t before – where God’s people dwell, church system. Furthermore, He is telling us to come out of something. We can come out of the church system.

Church system (institution of God’s people) = Jerusalem = the great city = Harlot = Babylon the Great

Now what?

Because of what the church system becomes God is going to destroy it. He warns His people who can still hear His voice to get out while they can. If you look at the church, it isn’t headed in a good direction. There is a disconnect between the Word and what we see in the churches. We like to rationalize and justify the downward spiral of the church, but the Word foretells its future and the Word stands forever.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues

It has grown so corrupt with deception and lies that even the elect are going to have trouble standing firm on the truth. Matthew 24:24 Think about how deceptive that must be? Churches are incredibly persuasive. Religious leaders have a power over people because people trust them. Just ask the lobbyists. They led the masses to crucify Jesus who days before they were praising. They led the people of Lystra who were worshiping Paul and Silas to turn to stone them leaving them for dead. Acts 14 Never underestimate the persuasion they have. God knows their influence and who is behind them that is why He tells us to get out. It isn’t safe. We have to trust Him, putting aside our justifications.

Psalm 74:3-4 Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place; They set up their banners for signs.

Right before this verse the writer talks about Mount Zion which is a name to describe God’s people in the future. Hebrews 12:22-23. The sanctuary, the meeting place of God’s people is going to suffer perpetual desolation. A New Jerusalem will take its place. Revelation 21:2 It seems that time is upon us. He wants His people out of the old so they don’t receive her plagues

You may think now is not the time, but when? Who will you listen to tell you to get out? If you don’t and decide to stay a little longer, I pray your teacher is God and you can clearly hear His voice above all the others. Deception and lies are only going to continue to grow worse. 2 Timothy 3:13. Many are going to go astray. Things aren’t going to get better. If we think we or our church is above deception then we are most deceived. The church served a purpose for a time, but like most man-made institutions it has gone sideways. Ezekiel 8

Where do we go? To Him, to His Word. He will be our Shepherd, He will write His truths on our heart, He will teach us, guide us, and protect us. He has given us all we need, His Word, Himself, and when you get there you will find others.

People are leaving the church because they feel something is amiss. Could it be that they have heard His call in their hearts? Those that know their Shepherd’s voice will follow Him.

There is much to say on this topic but I pray this encourages you to search out His truth from His pure Word.


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Don’t Forsake the Assembly

Don’t Forsake the Assembly

 

Those who are outside of the Institutional church, often get questioned about the following verse:

Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Dusty Owens wrote a response, Forsake Not the Assembly?   It is worth the read. It makes you think about what you really believe and who you are really listening to and trusting.

 

 


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Church Social Clubs

Church Social Clubs

 

Most of us are familiar with the social club mentality of many churches; extravagant entertainment, feel-good programs, focus on busyness, and messages that are a self-improvement book covered in Christian lingo.

Our knee jerk reaction is that being a glorified social club is wrong. However, with some further thought, I think what we all need to realize, especially if we are in a church, is that all churches are social clubs.  It is a healthier and safer viewpoint because that is the extent of what they provide; encouragement, support, connections, activities, and stimulating conversations. The problem is that people want and look to them as a source of truth, to enhance their relationship with God, to bind their wounds, to give them freedom, to bring peace, hope and rest to their lives; all the things that only truly come from cultivating intimacy with God in His truth, His Word.

However, churches appear to be gladly taking on this other role, which is outside the scope of their abilities, because when people are dependent on you it is good for business.  Even with good intentions, trying to be what they can’t misleads people and destroys souls. I was such a soul.  Our souls starve because we mistakenly rely on the wrong one for true life.  God and His Word is the fountain of truth which brings true life. Churches are a reservoir of people’s interpretations, doctrines, rules and regulations with some truth sprinkled in.  Many people end up worse off than when they started because they don’t realize they are hanging out at the wrong watering hole and thinking they have arrived at truth they stopped looking.

The majority of Christians are not living the abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give because they are relying on other broken people when they need to rely on God. People try to get out of teachers, pastors, leaders, programs, and ministries what they should be seeking from God and churches reinforce their warped dependency in what they don’t say, in what they praise and what they encourage.

As I read the New Testament, it seems clear that truth and an intimate relationship with God which brings abundant life come from time with Him in the Holy Scriptures being taught by the Spirit. (John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15:34, 1 John 2:27, 2 Timothy 2:15, 7, 2 Timothy 3: 14-15.) Yet this truth is often overlooked and people continue to give fallible humans, who are trying to figure it out just as they are, God’s role.

Churches are playing a role that they weren’t meant to play.  If we openly acknowledge and call church what it is, a social club, then maybe we will start heading in the right direction; looking to our God not man for truth and life. Even then we need to be very careful and aware of churches’ influence over our thinking, beliefs and lives.

 


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Church Sedation

 Church Sedation

 

The other morning I was thinking . .  how many times do we hear from fellow believers or out of our own mouths wasn’t that a great teaching or a good sermon? But was it truth?  It may have been entertaining and made us feel good, but was it truth? They may have read a passage from the Bible, but their opinions, philosophies, interpretations of the scripture, but was it truth?  We are instructed to test all things preached, taught, or spoken of but now many of us honestly do that? If we do test what are actually testing it by; our intuition, gut, or someone else’s teaching?  True testing is done by the Word so that means we have to be consistently in the Word and put it above all others. The Bible is our foundation and not man’s words because it is the source of pure unadulterated truth.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world

 Before I spent one-on-one time with God, just His Word and me, I relied on my own discernment, not a good idea. But when I started to spend that time, layer by layer He started to unveil the real truth. I was amazed by all the lies I believed that I learned in a religious institution or setting. How could I have been so mislead? There are lots of reasons, but one stood out – the power of feeling good.

Sedating my guilt, putting my time in with God for the week, looking good to those around me, feeling like a good person, people accepting and liking me were a lot of the reasons why I went to church – when I am brutally honest with myself. Who doesn’t like to feel good about themselves? But all those are the wrong reasons first because no one is good, so why was I trying to prove I was and second focusing on these blinded me to the truth. My motives got in the way of taking time to be in God’s word and testing what I heard. Ultimately I was focusing on me instead of getting to know my God. Many things are good, until they are used or done for the wrong reasons. Then what was intended for good can become damaging.

Luke 18:19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God

The other day, I read an article on the power of praise.  Praise of others and others making us feel good are very powerful and they can blind us if we aren’t careful. That’s why love can be so blinding. Nothing and no one is perfect but God and His Word, He is the source of truth and of our beliefs.  I think it is good practice to carefully examine our motives now and then so we stay clear headed to be discerning as we are called to be. Now, I often ask, why am I really doing this?

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Leaving Organized Religion: Part 1

Leaving Organized Religion

Part 1

 

This post and the next one are longer than most, but I wanted to share with you part of my journey that got me where I am today.

Several years ago, something in my husband’s spirit and mine wasn’t resonating with the church we were attending. After volleying back and forth about what we were feeling, we decided to take break. We needed to see clearly. We resolved to dwell in God’s pure truth away from the doctrines of man, his opinions, philosophies and cares and explore what we were sensing.

In the quiet away from the opinions of man we probed God’s heart . . .what is going on? Why are we feeling this way? We had been deeply integrated into the church; participating in Bible studies, home groups, and helping out at the church. We had built friendships and had become a part of their lives as they had ours. Over the next couple of months, God moved things more into focus. After we were gone for a couple of months, we decided to return to see if the Spirit would confirm once more what we felt. How patient He is with us. It was clear, leave. The break ended up being an exodus from the church system.

In the following months, the questioning looks and tone of disapproval from my previous pew pals revealed what was in their thoughts, I had fallen to the wayside. And rightly so, many who leave the church leave God too. They think the two are one, which is a grave travesty. It was difficult knowing the opposite was true. It felt strange to be the odd man out, but I knew I was doing what God wanted and that is what mattered most.

With no one else to depend on, the Spirit became my trusted teacher. With the Bible and a piece of paper, I poured out my heart and began to listen for the first time. I wrote down my thoughts, fears, prayers, and questions. I read, sought, asked, and waited on the answers. God started to unfold the truth before my eyes. My trust in Him was tested, refined and strengthen and in time my relationship with Him grew into something I had never imagined, something wonderful, real, powerful and amazing. He taught me percept upon percept and started to put together His truths into a perfect puzzle of understanding. It was like someone had lifted the veil from His Word and the truth started pouring out.

As for the church, I continued to seek for understanding to why God didn’t want me in the church. When I say church I am speaking of the Institutional church, the church system, not the true body of believers who hold the spirit of God. They are two different things. Churches are full of believers and not. I wondered if other believers where experiencing a similar thing.  After some searching around, I found other believers were feeling a similar thing. One in particular that resonated with how I felt was Len Hjalmarson. Then I thought something is going on and I dug deeper.

At dubious moments, I wondered if I had heard God correctly. Is the church that far off that I shouldn’t be there? The church has always had major flaws, it is made up of humans after all. And I haven’t met a perfect one yet. Those flaws are what kept Paul so busy as he tried to keep things straight. So what is the difference now? But every time I asked, the answer was the same. Piece by piece the answers started to come and He is still putting the pieces together.

To get a better perspective of any situation you have to pull back to get a bird’s eye view. Having been out of the system for about four years now, I see a change happening. In general, the church is moving further away from its original purpose, it has become corrupt and overgrown with weeds of lies. Lies that steal life instead of give it. What is good has become profane, a cherished relationship has become a set of rules for moral living, and freedom is traded for bondage.

As a result of what is occurring in the church, a shift is happening. God is moving and becoming our sanctuary, not a system corrupted by man’s doctrine. Just as He said He would in Ezekiel. (Chapter 34) The church is no longer the one to feed, nourish, provide and protect His people. He is calling His people to Himself to be their Rock. With the wide spread availability of the Word and the Spirit residing in the souls of His people, God has moved in as the Good Shepherd, Teacher, Provider, and Protector. He is opening up the scriptures to laymen, like me, and is revealing Himself in mighty ways, outside of the church system.

To be continued . . .