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The Shame of the Church

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“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”

It is written that when the Jerusalem church met in Acts 15:

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

One important fact about the letter that was written to the Gentile churches needs attention. They wrote the line in the letter to the Gentile churches: We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization. The question must be asked – Whose authorisation? This shows clearly that they – the church in Jerusalem – were presuming their own authority, making their own decisions without seeking the Holy Spirit nor remembering what Jesus had said. They forgot that Jesus had said, “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you,” and in writing this letter did not ask the Holy Spirit, and presumed on Him for their own purpose. Jesus had also said, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” They had no authority except that which Jesus told them to do!

All authority was given to Jesus by the Father, and He used His given authority to command us. What authority was given to the church? None. But the Jerusalem church had presumed their own authority. They were still more interested in the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, and the Mosaic Law. Therefore, they ignored everything Jesus said and conjured up things that were of their own imagination. They were self-appointed, therefore acting under their own authority. They had broken away from everything Jesus said and were doing what they presumed was right – in their own eyes.

When we look at Acts 15 again, there is a second statement that we need to look at in verse 13:

When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me.”

When comparing this with what Jesus said, “He who speaks on his own does so to gain glory/honour for himself,” and the Father’s command to “Listen to Him,” we can clearly see that what James said here was wrong. So what was happening in the church of Jerusalem when James spoke up? The meeting was called because there were men from Judea saying that the men of the Gentile churches have to be circumcised to be saved according to the custom taught by Moses. When James stood up, he brokered a peace agreement between the two parties and made up rules that would keep the peace between them. James was being a ‘peace-keeper’.

It is in this peace-keeping role that the words of Jesus were forgotten and compromised. New commands from men were introduced that ‘seemed good’, and the whole church was thrown off track. Since then, the role the church has played is as a peace-keeper, and not as a peace-maker. Jesus said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” This was forgotten by the people at the Jerusalem church, and the church started peace-keeping.

The peace-keeping church has for a long time been involved in peace treaties between warring parties – man against God, and man with man. The church has been in the role of acting as a go-between, interpreting the requirements of God, and amplifying its own importance in its role as peace-keeper, being the ‘go-between‘ for man and God. People have been coming to church and ‘negotiating‘ peace with God through the peace-keeping church. Can terms of peace be negotiated with God by making up your own terms and conditions? People in good faith have believed the church and accepted Jesus – and by their faith are saved and wait for their mansions in Heaven and answers to their prayers, yet never come to know their true Father. The book of James is a book of peace-keeping between man and God, and man with man.

The third question to ask is, ‘Who sent James?’ Before this event, James was not mentioned or known about, except as a brother of Jesus who did not believe Him. Did Jesus send James? Did God send James? Did Moses send James? If no one sent him, then James was working for his own honour and glory and therefore is false and not a man of truth.

So what was in it for James? Jesus said, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” So what flowed out of James’ mouth? “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear My Name, says the Lord, who does these things’ that have been known for ages.”

James’ heart was interested in restoring David’s fallen tent. Why? Because he worked out that he was the potential to the throne of Israel, and others backed him. James’ and the interest of those who followed James was ‘Selfishness’ – as it was not what God had in mind at all. This would explain why James had a following and explains why he took the opportunity to speak up at the meeting. Therefore, James and his followers were working for their own honour and glory and not for God’s at all. The four recommendations he made were his first judgements, possibly a peace-keeping effort with the circumcision group. In the same way when Moses went up the mountain and did not come down for a long time, the people had Aaron do as they wished, and things got out of control. They acted as though Jesus was never coming back, as though He was dead – Murdered.

‘Wickedness’ had also entered the church, for they had forsaken everything that Jesus taught them, and the practice of wickedness had started. There was no reminder of the command “Listen to Him.” ‘Adultery’ came in when they were willing to listen to and accommodate those who started this whole discussion – the men who said that the Gentiles need to be circumcised to be saved. They were willing to deal with and accept anyone into the house, and also allow them to have a say. They definitely were not listening to the Holy Spirit, but were very willing to have the Holy Spirit do what they wanted, and imagined that He would endorse His power with their own recommendations.

The consequences of writing this letter at Jerusalem were that Judas and Silas were sent to Antioch, Syria and Cilicia with the message agreed to and written by the Jerusalem church. Barnabas and Paul also went with them. This made Judas and Silas ‘men of truth’, for they were working for the honour and glory of the one who sent them – James – and therefore there was nothing false about what they said, which introduced teachings that were not from Jesus to the Gentile churches. The four requirements that the Jerusalem church ‘brokered‘ were implanted into them, and the practice of James’ and the Jerusalem church’s words started, with Jesus’ words not being honoured, and therefore the true Father was not made known and the attitude of the Jerusalem church as the head of the church instead of Jesus was infused into the Gentile churches.

In the letter it says thatit seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” With men of truth delivering the letter, this became true with nothing false, so it could not be questioned. For from then onwards everything the Gentile church did would be with the attitude of ‘it seems good’, towards God and men. The teachings of Jesus given to the Gentile church were now open to the teachings of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Nicolaitans, Balaamites, Jezebelians and the Liars, because Jesus words were now not absolute to them. So, elect, take warning, Barnabas and Paul who were elected by the Holy Spirit, did not stop the words of men being treated as equal to the words of Jesus. They submitted to another head other than Jesus and false teachings entered the Gentile church. They should have strongly rebuked the people at the meeting, and cut-off those who did not believe the truth of Jesus only.

It is written: And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” From then on, anything that ‘seemed good’ was now allowed into the church’s teaching, death instead of life flowed into the church, for they started to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and by practising good and learning from it they died.

So while the Master of the house was away and had not yet returned, a horrible and shocking thing took place. A non-believer took up the Master’s position and the other servants did nothing to oppose it. They took over our Master’s Name, presided in His authority, and focused on their own purposes, and the Master’s faithful servants were deceived into accepting it and still are today. For James was not a true brother of Jesus, for Jesus had said, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

The original church – the Jerusalem church – by Acts 21 was clearly led by James and they were known to the Jews of the day. As it is written in Acts 21:17-23: When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. The Jerusalem church must have returned to Judaism with very little to do with Jesus, because they were in fear of the Jews and were more concerned with Moses. To Jesus they had become a ‘synagogue of Satan’.

Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “

So understand that what Jesus said about enemies is true; that even from the household of Jesus an enemy rose up and delayed Jesus’ return, for the preparations of His kingdom were not completed. Understand now that Jesus was deposed from His kingdom on Earth, and a new ruler took His place.

Through the message of the ones sent by James and the church of Jerusalem, Wickedness, Selfishness, Adultery and Murder implanted themselves in the Gentile church, leading to the creation of the Great Prostitute church.

The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead:

MYSTERY
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

MYSTERY (Wickedness) – Because she does not want you to know or understand, but only believe what she says is true, though it leads into darkness and fantasy. For Jesus came to show us the mysteries of God and explain them to us, as He did in Revelation 1:20: “The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” The Great Prostitute keeps her people in the dark with no light, and directs attention away from the Light of the World who is Jesus, and focused on fires lit by others to provide light. Therefore, the people love God blindly and know very little – if anything – accurately about God.

BABYLON THE GREAT (Selfishness) – The great city that makes a name for itself and rules over the Earth holding captive men and women, and trades with the world. She works for her own honour, glory, and greatness and uses God’s Name for her own purposes. She trades with the world, enriching only herself. In the original city of Babel in Genesis 11, the people wanted to make a tower that reached the Heavens to make a name for themselves. Later, the Babylon of the days of Daniel used its own glory and name that it made for itself to rule over and trade with the world. Babylon did not acknowledge that God had allowed it to become great. It is the church that trades with the world using the Name of ‘God’, with false pretences to enrich and promote itself and not God, only using God’s Name as an excuse to do what it wants. Therefore, the great city became the center of focus.

MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES (Adultery) – Because she encourages illicit relations among her children to lure many in with favours so that she may profit from them, without discriminating as to whom with. They are encouraged to lavish favours on anyone, and give temporary comfort to those in need for money. Therefore, the children of these relations do not know their true Father. For it is the Father of their spirits – the Holy Spirit – they are suppose to get to know so that the children can become sons and daughters of God.

MOTHER OF ABOMINATIONS (Murder) – Because she has created tasks for the children to practise things which are detestable in God’s eyes. For abominations are the detestable practices, such as the worship of idols or icons. Practices that yield no glory for the true God and yield none of the life that Jesus spoke about but have keep people enslaved ritually practising things that only lead to death.

Who is the Great Prostitute? For just as Jesus has His bride – New Jerusalem – a city in which God can dwell with mankind, Satan has his bride – the Great Prostitute – intended for Satan to dwell with men forever. For “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour. So I threw you to the Earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”

It is written that Wickedness was found in Satan, and that from his widespread trade it revealed selfishness. His violence took the life of others, and he sinned by listening to others. From this we find that the traits of Satan are also found in the Great Prostitute.

So listen to Jesus: “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to Heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself.”

Jesus said, “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Our work is to prepare the kingdom according to what Jesus has said. For the Great Prostitute will not be destroyed by Jesus or by us, but by the Beast and the ten horns. For the angel has said, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the Earth.

And do not forget the daughters of the Great Prostitute. They all are like her in various different ways – the various denominations. Even though they might fully disagree with their mother’s attitude, they eventually become like her, so it can be said “Like mother, like daughter.” They still hold captive many in their ranks. Therefore, echo Jesus’ voice, “Come out of her, My people,” calling to them and lighting up the darkness so they can find their way out back to Jesus. Shine the light of Jesus so they will come out. But do not be drawn into the darkness yourself.

In Acts 15, there was no one to stand up for Jesus. No one. They spoke only of the Holy Spirit and forgot who Jesus is. Jesus said, “He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him.” Because Jesus was not honoured the Father was not honoured, and They were both disgraced. Acts 15 is the ‘shame’ of the church, and not the ‘glory’ as many in the church assume. So repent of this misunderstanding, and learn from it.

“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of My people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord.

It is time to take away the shame from our Brother and our Father who sent Jesus, and prepare for Jesus’ soon arrival. So what will you do in the end?

So, repent now all of us who have shamed the Lord in these ways. Repent now, and bring no shame on Jesus, your Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit.

Amen, come Lord Jesus, come.

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