Mark 7:1-7 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Are YOU Saved? “ASK JESUS INTO YOUR HEART”
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KJV vs NIV [WHAT DOES YOUR BIBLE LEAVE OUT – MINE LEAVES OUT NOTHING]:
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
VISION – ESCAPING the SPIRIT of THE AGE
Vision of the Present and Coming Western Church
I saw the people of God scattered in dark foreboding waters. They
were broadly scattered and mostly trapped into an apathy of the
status quo. As I looked I could see that many were comfortable
being scattered and overcome by the spirit of the age, but I sensed
a storm was about to shake many out of their apathy and awaken
them to repentance and revival.
As the sea began to roar in the coming storm I was able to see
that many individuals were alone, discouraged and struggling as
the waves and wind began to beat upon them. Some began to
realize the bondage and danger they were in and call out to God,
seeking a way of escape, many had begun to seek out others in
the tossing waves and together they had managed to keep their
heads above the swelling storm and encourage each other to
hope and trust in Christ.
I was fascinated and moved with empathy and compassion as I
saw my brothers and sisters struggle and endure; what I saw
happen next amazed me. Those who began to seek a way out of
this ocean of bondage were lifting their heads, seeking their Lord,
seeing a glimmer of the revelation of His kingdom, power and glory
and beginning to move towards the brightening land that was visible
on the horizon of the dawning day. Those that did this were for a
time fighting for their lives as the waves tried to push them down,
crashed over their heads as the wind stung their faces and sought
to blind them to the hopeful vision they were beginning to see.
Those who didn’t struggle had no such drama and were carried
along by the storm, spared the battle that these others were
going through. Some struggled for a time, became discouraged
that things seemed to get worse and lay back, defeated in the dark waters.
As I watched those that refused to quit, it was as if these
persevering, praying, struggling saints suddenly became vessels,
like small fishing skiffs, or mullet boats as we call them. The wind
and waves tried to sink these vessels but as they got their bearings
and began to steer the course towards the growing glory, the bows
of the boats rose above the waves and the wind filled the sails and
sped them towards their destination. Because they had persevered
and not been thrown off course these people began to rejoice in
the stability and freedom they were experiencing now they had
escaped the clutches of the raging sea.
I was excited as I saw that this was God’s church that was being
raised up, those in the vessels were of one heart and mind,
focused on the Lord, His kingdom and glory and filled with hope
and joy. Some of these vessels would rescue others as they sailed
along and had soon grown into a great multitude. As I saw what I
believe the Spirit told me was the end time church, I was impressed
that they were what could best be described as a powerhouse of
encouragement, unity of purpose, prayer, proclamation and exhortation.
I saw one of these vessels cutting through huge waves that were
seeking to drown a group caught in the storm. A cry of intercession
came forth from the body of believers in the ship that had a power
like holy violence, it was as though the darkness was in an instant
driven back and the roaring waves scattered. The sacrifice of these
vessels, in seeking to save those lost in the worst of the storm
meant they had to turn aside from their straight path and the comfort
of rising above the waves, and again be for a time be beaten and
tossed by the storm, but love enabled them to endure this for the
joy of seeing captives set free. I was weeping as I saw this great
love and sacrifice for the sake of others being expressed by the church.
I then made two errors in comprehending what I was seeing, both
ideas were met with the rebuke of the Lord as they rose from my
heart. The first was that this church seemed to be free from leaders
as we know them in the church today and just seemed to be made
up of ordinary everyday people doing extraordinary things. I was
asked a question. “Have I not set in my church leaders, teachers,
prophets, evangelists and shepherds; for what purpose are they
given to the church?” I instantly knew my heart was wrong, this
end time church was not against leadership, but was in fact the
product of ministry gifts that are focused on maturing and mobilizing
the saints to be God’s people. There were prophets in the Spirit of
Elijah, convicting, challenging and proclaiming holiness. As I looked
closer I saw such people uniting families, diverse cultures and age
groups on the vessels they served on. I also saw teachers,
evangelists and other gifted leaders, all were giving glory to God
and proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ. He was their head, their
vision and their treasure. None were elevating themselves above
the people, they were lifting up Christ and enabling people to truly
know and walk with God for themselves. One crucial characteristic
of these groups was that they were all extremely sensitive to, and
empowered by the wind of the Spirit, and were no longer fearful of
the storm or its power.
The other error I made was in determining in my heart to devote
myself to becoming part of the glorious church that I had just seen.
I was shocked that such a goal was subject to correction as I saw
it as a noble and valuable pursuit. I was encouraged to, “Seek first
the Lord and His righteousness,” and warned of the danger of
settling for any experience, movement or ministry along my journey
that would cause me to camp at a certain place of progress and
lead me to not continue in the upward call of God in Christ. I knew
that my carnal, religious heart could easily settle for less than the
fullness that God desires to bring to His church.
One tragic part of the vision was that in the dark stormy sea I could
see large crowds of people gathering together but seeming to be
at ease in this environment. As I looked closer I saw that these
groups of people were gathering around gifted and charismatic
people who held these storm tossed but united believers together
with their words, slick presentations and dynamic personalities. I
thought that they also would acknowledge that they were trapped
in worldly, satanic or other enslavements in this storm and find
freedom as others around them had begun to. As I considered this
I saw that during this time these groups would also gather new-
comers who were drawn to the big crowds and the bold encouraging
words that the leaders spoke. I heard many of the people trapped
in these groups encouraging each other that their church was
growing and that this was a sign of God’s blessing upon them.
They were also questioning the authority of these other believers
sailing past them to freedom, feeling they were not in proper
submission to church leadership. They were sadly comforted in
Some leaders did realize the deception they were living under and
turned from being the centre of these groups and began to humble
themselves and lift up and turn the eyes of their followers to Christ.
Soon many of these groups were becoming like the others that I
had seen, escaping the storms, being mobilized in their true gifts
and callings and finding liberty and victory in their lives, with Christ
as their head.
I pray this will encourage everyone in the storms they are facing
or about to face.
THE SILENT EXTERMINATION OF IRAQ’S “CHRISTIAN DOGS”
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