|November, 2010 - A Shocking Report|
Some Christian Leaders said, "Get Lost Jesus!"
For many years, I have been asking myself what went wrong in the church today. Why is the church no longer the center for healing and a spiritual worship of God? While I was putting a finishing touch on my latest book, Closer Walk With Jesus, the Holy Spirit placed a message in my heart. I was told that some of the human responses to the book would expose whether Christians are worshipping God in the Spirit of God or in the flesh. Each time I gave testimonies in churches, people who had experienced similar incidents would immediately respond to confirm such testimonies based on their personal experiences with the Spirit of God. It was like the fire of the Holy Spirit exploded in their spirit.
I noticed some churches have been reduced to a club membership instead of a haven for the lost, disenchanted and those hurting. We replaced the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ with that of the gospel of politicians! We call people names just because they disagree with us. We separate ourselves from the world as if we are the only ones going to heaven. We drench ourselves in hypocrisy and call it the Christian point of views. We created social segregation of believers and non-believers. We also believe it is our duty as good Christians to condemn people, punish them, and send them straight to hell before introducing them to Jesus.
Sadly the news media is flooded with programs designed to position some news organizations as if presenting Christian news. What is the Christian version of news? We present a skewed version, infected with hypocrisy of twisted and distorted facts in propaganda journalism. We embrace those media outlets because they feed our self-righteousness and egos. We love to put our purity on display as we condemn others less worthy while in the secret, we sit on our hidden sewer of immorality and the closet filled with skeletons. We spend more time condemning sinners than leading them to Christ. Is this what Jesus asks us to do?
Sunday rituals during service are more important than a spiritual worship as instructed by Jesus. How can we worship God in the Spirit when the leaders do not have an idea what spiritual worship of God means? Consequently, we settle for mere entertainment and worship rituals devoid of the true worship of God in the Spirit.
Jesus said, "God is a Spirit, those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). This statement was the highlight of true spiritual worship as instructed by Jesus. Today, some churches do not have an understanding of this statement. This very important instruction by Jesus has been reduced to just another slogan for recitation without meaning. If you have not received the Spirit of God, you do not know what it means to worship God in the Spirit. The fact that a leader or the members are filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean they know how to worship God in the Spirit of God. Worshipping God in the Spirit is a relationship process. It does not start in the church. It starts from the inside of human spirit of a believer prior to getting to church on Sunday morning. Most Christians are walking out of some denominations because they are searching for a closer relationship with God. They are hungry for a spiritual connection to God. The spiritual worship starts with an intimate relationship with Jesus who leads us to a closer relationship with God, the Father.
What is Spiritual Worship?
Spiritual worship begins with a daily walk in the Spirit of God. We develop an intimate relationship with Jesus through daily bathing of human soul with the Word of God, and in continuous prayer and meditation in the Holy Spirit. In this process, we are propelled into a high spiritual dimension, opening the Portal Gates of Heaven as we touch the heart of God. The outcome of such a process is the undressing of human desires leading to an intimate relationship with God through Jesus as we learn to surrender to the Spirit, taking us into the Holy of the Holiest. At this sacred location, we not only experience the presence of God, but also hear his Voice enshrouded in supernatural occurrences. This was exactly what happened in the Old Testament called the manifestations of the Shekinah Glory of God inside the temple. Jesus death and resurrection opened the door for believers to have a direct access to God as each person is able to experience his or her own embracement by God. This takes place during a spiritual worship. It can also happen anywhere especially during a divine meditation or an intimate worship of God. At that moment, the Heavens open up and the presence of God is revealed.
"The house of the Lord was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God" (II Chronicles 5:13-14, Exodus 40:34-35).
In a similar situation on the day of Pentecost, the same glory of God came, and everybody was individually baptized during a prayer vigil.
"And suddenly there came a sound, as the rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appear on them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues" (Acts 2:2-4).
The spiritual worship of God leads to the opening of the Portal Gates of Heaven and Gods manifested presence is experienced during worship. In Gods presence, worshippers open the windows of their souls and connect with the Spirit of God. This allows the penetration of Gods Spirit where spiritual surgical operations start to manifest. As the spiritual wave of God starts to move across the room, people start to perceive an intimate connection with God. The manifestations of his power drive people to glorious tears as they experience the unexplainable peace in his presence. At such moment of experiencing God, wounds are healed, joy fills the hearts, bondages are broken, and many supernatural events take place. This is what most Christians are searching for, an intimate encounter, and a relationship with God. Therefore, the critical responsibility of a church leader in addition to teaching and preaching the Word, is to lead the entire congregation into a spiritual worship before God. That was exactly what Moses was doing throughout the time he was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness. Moses was not only making appointments with God to visit the children of Israel, he was also leading the people to the presence of God.
There is nothing wrong with dancing during church services. Some of the greatest manifestations of God happened while worshippers were dancing and making joyful noise to the Lord in praise (II Chronicles 5:11-14). However, worship of God should not be reduced to mere entertainment devoid of spiritual worship. Today, we experience more of church rituals and traditions with big egos than the true worship of God. Some church leaders are satisfied with whatever they are doing and are uninterested in receiving any fresh messages from the Lord. They are more interested in their programs than to tune to what Jesus is telling the church today. They turn deaf ears to Gods divine messages because they are not walking in the Spirit of God. If they move in the Spirit of God, they will quickly grab any information coming from the spiritual realm like a magnet. Human brain cannot decipher Gods coded messages except through the Holy Spirit. Yes, there are many false messengers of the devil trying to deceive people, but any Christian being led by the Holy Spirit can immediately differentiate fakes from the real messengers of God. Jesus said, "We shall know them by their fruits" (St. Matthew 7:16).
Consequently, when Jesus sends fresh messages to the church, leaders that are not walking in the Spirit will immediately dismiss such messages. They apply human knowledge to divine messages and they ended up missing special instructions from Jesus. Human knowledge no matter how great will fail many and will be inadequate to unravel the mysteries of God. Bad times are coming to the U.S. Are you prepared? Sadly, some churches have completely tuned Jesus out. They believe only in their own rituals than poised to receive fresh instructions from the Lord. They are telling Jesus, "Get Lost, we do not need any more instructions from you. Weve got all we needed." This is a very tragic mistake, taking place in some churches across the nation. For this primary reason, worshippers are not being led into a spiritual worship and a closer relationship with Jesus. The church today is not different from the secular world. That is the reason why many outside the church are accusing church members of hypocrisy. We are too deep in our own activities to soothe our emotions than to embrace the activities of the Holy Spirit of God. Many Christians are therefore dancing on the outside while bleeding and dying on the inside of depression. The only person that heals without a scar is the Holy Spirit. No amount of psychotherapy after stirring the pot of human emotions can ever lead to permanent healing, except through the Holy Spirit. Get a copy of the book, Closer Walk With Jesus by Yinka Vidal, for help over depression and how to find true joy in Christ. There is a staggering percentage of increase depression in the church because believers are not connected to the Holy Spirit. The best cure for depression is to seek the presence of God.
"In his presence is the fullness of joy, and in his right hand are pleasure for ever more," (Psalm 16:11). If you are suffering from depression of no biological reason, ask yourself whether you are walking in the Spirit of God, or in human spirit. Many times some Christians will be walking in the human spirit and confuse this with the Holy Spirit. There is a big difference in the operations of the human spirit that caters only to the human flesh compared to that of the Holy Spirit that brings us to an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. Occasional sadness when bad things happen is normal. Lingering sadness can lead to depression. Bathing the human soul with the Word of God is the easiest way to crack depression.
Disregarding Jesus Instructions can be Dangerous
"I never knew you; depart from me you workers of iniquity" (St. Matthew 7:23). Sadly and unfortunately some dedicated workers in the ministry who have performed wonders in the name of Jesus will receive this painful verdict. Jesus stated this warning to prevent leaders in the ministry from going their own directions against his instructions. They may be preachers with big names, yet they tuned Jesus out, because they have all the answers. When Jesus sent them instructions, they ignored them. He sent different messengers to warn them. They cast them out. These people, to us on earth are faithful workers, but they ignored the warning messages of the Lord through the spiritual realm. The critical point of being a dedicated servant for the Lord is to be led by Gods Spirit through Christ to serve the Lords purpose.
A shepherd trying to go his own direction was what happened to Peter when Jesus asked his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father. Peter disobeyed that instruction. Instead, he took some disciples to go fishing contrary to the instructions of Jesus. Early in the morning Jesus appeared to these disciples, fed them, and asked Peter a question saying, "Peter, do you love me?" Jesus asked Peter that question three times. The Third time, Peter started to weep within because he knew he had let Jesus down again. But, Jesus restored him as the lead disciple to prepare the rest of them for the ministry ahead. That was why on the Day of Pentecost, the same restored Peter was the one who preached Jesus message and three thousand people joined the church.
At times we think our ways are better than Gods ways and directions. In the end, such ways may lead to tragedies. The disobedient servants were cast out of the Lords presence, not because they did not do their work, but they ignored the critical instructions and directions given by Jesus. Even though they did many wonders in the name of Jesus, yet they had no relationship with him and they refused to follow his instructions. They did wonders to appease the people and brag about themselves and their club membership. They magnified political figures as celebrities to be worshipped in the body of Christ. They receive cheers from the congregation. Sadly, Jesus was left out of the picture. They trusted only in their own human knowledge! That human knowledge eventually failed them!
The way we refuse prophetic messages today was the same way the religious leaders rejected Jesus and ended up putting him to death. Many of us Christians are asking questions how those religious leaders could have missed Jesus. Because of their trust in their human knowledge, they missed the very thing they were waiting for. The way the religious leaders reacted to Jesus is exactly the same reactions of some churches today to divine messages from the Lord. Jesus already said, "Those who rejected you have rejected me, and those who rejected me have rejected my Father who sent me" (St John 13:20). Unfortunately, due to big egos, we refuse to listen to divine messages and instructions from the Lord. Some preachers are even preaching that the word of knowledge is done away with. My question to those preachers is, "Who are you to speak for God if you do not walk in the Spirit of God?" We believe we have got it all covered. However, Jesus is saying that he is the source of our spiritual nutrition while working in the ministry. Any branch that detaches itself from the vine withers. Similarly, anybody who thinks he or she can handle everything without continuous instructions from the Lord, may eventually fail due to disobedience, pride, and arrogance. This is the reason why it is very important to be vigilant over fresh prophetic messages coming from the Spirit realm of God. Two thousand years is too long a time for a lover to speak to his bride. "He who has ears, let him hear what the Spirit in telling the churches" (Rev 3:22).
Prophet Jeremiah was thrown into the dungeon because he spoke the warning messages of God to the children of Israel. They rejected his messages and eventually faced their painful fate in exile. Just because they refused to listen did not change a thing. Truth is very bitter and can sometimes be discouraging, but the truth of God remains the same regardless to human perception.
There was a story of a young man standing before the church crying because they would not let him inside the church. The door was slammed in his face. While standing alone, he saw Jesus coming towards the church. He was happy when he saw Jesus because he believed Jesus would let him inside the church. When Jesus came closer, the young man realized Jesus was just passing by, and was not entering the church. Just as Jesus was about to pass, he asked the young man why he was crying. He told Jesus that they would not let him inside the church. Jesus responded and told the young man not to cry, he said for many years he had been trying to get inside the church, but the door was slammed in his face too. Is this not the story of many churches today? Jesus warned the seven churches in the book of Revelation about the danger of breaking spiritual connection from him. Consequently, Jesus responded to the church and said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and open the door, I will come and dine with him and he with me" (Rev 3:20). Jesus was not standing in front of a secular building. He was standing in front of the church, and of course, your heart. If you open the door for him he will give you the words of wisdom and lead you by his Spirit to do Gods will.
Jesus Wears the Face of a Common Man
Based on the way the church operates today, can it recognize Jesus when he appears giving us instructions? The answer is no! The Bible predicted that when Jesus appeared on earth, he would be wearing the face of a common man. He was born in humility and was never born with a golden spoon in his mouth. Yet, he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
"He has no form or comeliness, and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected by men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him" (Isaiah 53:2).
Even after Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected, he was still wearing the face of a common man with his glorious body. Mary Magdalene could not recognize Jesus (St. John 20:14-17). Even some of his disciples could not recognize him on their way to Emmaus when Jesus was having a conversation with them (St. Luke 24:13-31).
While we are consumed with our church programs and trips to feed our own desires in the name of God, we inadvertently abandoned the very mission Jesus gave us to reach out to the lost and the common people. We build walls around us in churches and in the process walled Jesus out. Instead of reaching out to the common people, we are busy looking for Jesus in the faces of celebrities we tend to idolize. Images we put up are more important than the true worship of God in the Spirit. For the time being, many inside the church are singing on the outside and at the same time dying of depression on the inside, not different from those in the secular world. Why? Because, we are worshipping the image of idols we put up, instead of worshipping God in the Spirit. Sadly, the garden of the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts supposed to be growing beautiful flowers, in some people have become the garden of decay. That was why it was so easy for some pastors, deacons and even some church members to be having sex in the house of God. Unfortunately, such incidents hit the headline news. Even non-believers are shaking their heads about these painful incidents in the church. What a tragedy? May God have mercy on us. He must be a very patient and forgiving Father.
Jesus Pleads for Unity Inside the Church
Seeing a very divided church brings grief to the heart of Our Savior Jesus Christ. While on earth he pleaded with his disciples that they may love one another. He commanded them to love one another. Even during his most painful moment ready to go to the cross, he was pleading with God saying,
"Father, keep them that they may be one as we are one" (St. John 17:11, 21).
The disunity in the church today was never the intention of Jesus; it was the work of the devil. Jesus in his prayer at his final hour was praying,
"Father, keep them from the evil one" (St. John 17:15).
Power of Divine Messages
Throughout the Bible, God continues to communicate with believes either through prophets or those serving his purpose. When Jesus arrived on earth, he opened the window of the spiritual realm to give access to individual believer to reach God. Entering the Holy of the Holiest is not by physical entrance, but by a spiritual journey into the spiritual realm of the Holiness of God at any location. The Lord Jesus continues to deliver timely messages to those willing to connect with him in the Spirit realm. Closer Walk With Jesus is a book that discusses a journey into the realm of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural events that took place. No man can be engaged to a woman and refused to talk to her for years. How do we expect Jesus not to talk to the body of Christ for over two thousand years? How do we know to prepare for his second coming when we have disconnected the frequency line of communication between Jesus and the church?
Outbreak of Revival
Interestingly in 2010, there is a continuous outbreak of revivals in the body of Christ with supernatural occurrences among young preachers. More of these events are being witnessed outside traditional churches because they have locked Jesus out of the church. We are too busy with running the church. We lost Jesus inside the church. Your Sunday programs no matter the size of your congregation may not be that helpful without including the quest for the manifestations of the presence of God. Christian leaders do not connect worshipers to God. Jesus is the only person who can connect people to God. However, it is the responsibility of the Christian leaders to create a conducive atmosphere in the church during worship, to allow the manifested presence of God.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me" (St. John 10:27).
Can you hear his Voice, or you are too busy echoing somebody else, or looking for Jesus on the face of celebrities?
If you allow his Spirit to direct you, he will lead you to the presence of God where you will find true joy and peace.
By Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus