One person asked the following in the comment section of our last article, “My Generation Failed You,” How do the new and pure Christians take control? How do they fellowship? How do they know themselves?
I believe the Holy Spirit spoke through him. While I wouldn’t characterize followers of Christ as pure Christians, I understood where he was coming from. No one is pure as all followers of Christ are sinners saved by grace. And we continue our walk in Him through that same grace.
We promised to address his questions as we are led. Hence this very important article. It is directed not just to him but to all followers of Christ, especially the younger generation. Many of you have been reading our articles on our Facebook page and our website. You all are part of the LORD’S army in the midst of a perverse generation, a generation that I believe would readily welcome the antichrist with wide open arms.
If there ever was a time when followers of Christ need to take Bible studies very seriously, it is now. Knowledge of the word not only enables us to truly worship God in spirit and in truth and to discern God’s will, it helps us to differentiate biblical truths from the lies spewed out daily by fallen church leaders and to confront the powers of darkness. Because you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, we pray that, after reading this article, not minding the consequences, you will arise and begin to preach the gospel once for all delivered to the saints to those who have not yet believed.
2. SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT
In response to the amazed crowd on that glorious Pentecost morning, Peter still enveloped in the wondrous presence of the Holy Spirit, declared that what Joel, the prophet of God, prophesied long ago had come to pass.
‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants–men and women alike–and they will prophesy.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below–blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved’ (Acts 2:17-21 NLT).
That declaration was not Peter’s own; the Holy Spirit was using him to pronounce that the age (Church age) of Joel’s prophecy had begun. Between the apostolic time until now, followers of Christ have continued to experience God’s promise in Acts 2:17-18. Acts 2:19-20 will come to pass just before the LORD’s return.
Sadly, religious (organized) Christianity has been teaching the cessation of gifts of the Holy Spirit for centuries. It contends that spiritual empowerment and spiritual gifts ended with the death of those first witnesses. Such teaching flies in the face of Peter’s speech.
Why this obvious lie? I posit two reasons: As apostasy gained upper hand in the early centuries of Christianity, church leaders lost the anointing. They no longer could receive the Spirit baptism and or exercise any of the gifts of the Spirit. But, some of their members were still receiving the Spirit baptism and exercising one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They feared they were going to lose control of their congregations. Hence they had to introduce the false doctrine of cessation of gifts. In fact, in centuries past, groups of believers who exercised one or more spiritual gifts were persecuted. In some cases, they were excommunicated.
That false teaching means that organized Christianity does not accept that the Holy Spirit is the Advocate (Helper) who will guide Christ’s Church until His return.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you (John 14:16-17 NLT).
In our time, there are churches and ministries that do accept Spiritual empowerment continued after the death of the first witnesses. Unfortunately, many of them have shut out the Holy Spirit from their church services. Many church leaders (general overseers, pastors, etc) use the pulpit primarily to disseminate human-made doctrines that help enrich them and increase their hold on their unwary congregations. Their greed-based preaching and motivational speeches are all about the flesh (how to prosper materially and be in good health). Messages that cater to the spirit are neglected.
‘Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God’ (Matt 15:9 NLT).
3. RELIGIOUS (ORGANIZED) CHRISTIANITY’S POWERLESSNESS AND HYPOCRISY
There are many churches and denominations in organized Christianity. Any church or denomination that has two classes of Christians, the laity (lower class) and clergy (the more privileged class) belongs to religious (organized) Christianity. The elevation of some members of the Body of Christ over other members is contrary to the LORD’s command that there be no lords among His followers.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”
“And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave”(Matt 20:25-27 NKJV).
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the High Priest and all who have believed are under His High Priesthood. Every believer receives one or more spiritual gifts from God. Such gift is for the good of the Church. There is no justification for the creation of clergy and laity by Religious Christianity. If a distinction is to be made, it should be between varieties of ministries and gifts (1Cor 12:4-11, Eph 1:11).
In the light of the above, we have to conclude that churches that have clergy/laity divide do not accept that all believers are under the High Priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such churches and denominations are guilty of corrupting God’s word. Hence the absence of the Holy Spirit in most of their services. And the absence of the Holy Spirit is the primary reason so many churches have unbiblical practices and why they teach false doctrines.
4. GOD HAS POURED OUT HIS SPIRIT ON YOU
‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams (Acts 2:17).
- Are you a Bible-believing-practicing Christian–an imitator of Christ (1Cor 11:1)?
- Do you believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures (2Tim 3:16-17)?
- Are you burdened by what is going on in your church and or denomination?
- Do you have witness in your heart that some of the things coming out of the pulpit in your church are not scriptural?
- Have you been asking God what you have to do?
- Are you still teachable i.e., Are you still willing to learn?
If your answer is yes to all above, then know the following:
- You have not been hindering the Holy Spirit’s work on your life. Wherever the Holy Spirit is not welcomed in a church gathering or ministry, there is a disquiet in hearts of those church members who have welcomed Him into their lives. The Holy Spirit cannot abide where the Lord Jesus Christ is not at the centre of worship, teaching and message.
- God has been speaking to you through His word. “In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants–men and women alike–and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:18).
- Joel’s prophecy is for those who have radically committed themselves to God. “It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (2Cor 1:21-22 NLT).
- It is time to step out and take your place as a follower of Christ. You do not belong to any assembly where the leadership is not fully committed to God and His word.
But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? YOU SEE WE ARE NOT LIKE THE MANY HUCKSTERS WHO PREACH FOR PERSONAL PROFIT. WE PREACH THE WORD OF GOD WITH SINCERITY AND WITH CHRIST’S AUTHORITY, KNOWING THAT GOD IS WATCHING US (2Cor 2:14-17 NLT).
I put the last verse in caps because it is what differentiates true and false ministries and true and false teachers/pastors.
- False teachers/pastors are selfish while true servants of God are selfless. Every follower of Christ is a minister of God. We are priests and kings (Rev 1:6). Each of us has to find his or her calling in Christ.
- Seek the LORD’s face and He will surely reveal your place in the Body (hand, feet, leg, eye, mouth, etc).
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He
pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many
members, yet one body (1Cor 12:18-20 NKJV).
- No matter where He places you in the Body of Christ, you must never serve with the expectation of becoming rich through taxing other members of the Body. Every able-bodied follower of Christ, with the exception of students, should have a job or a skill. That is the only way not to be dependent on others; being independent makes it easy to speak truth to power. It is very difficult to speak the truth to someone who is feeding you. If you doubt it, kindly read our previous article, “My Generation Failed You.” You will see how church leaders of my generation compromised their faith through dependence on the wealthy and those in government .
5. ACTION PLAN
- Pray for God’s guidance and grace to reach out to believing family members, church members and other Christians in your neighbourhood. You will be surprised that some have similar concerns.
- Even if there is only one other person, start a Bible study group in your home. Remember the Holy Spirit is present wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in the LORD’S name. It is a church when 2 or 3 are in fellowship and the Holy Spirit is present. Better to be in a church comprising 2 or 3 persons with the Holy Spirit present than to be in a church of one million persons with the Holy Spirit being absent.
- The best Teacher is the Holy Spirit. Believe me, He will guide you as you study His word. Worldwide Evangelical Ministry will be publishing study helps in our website to aid you in your Bible studies. Those study helps should never take the place of your Bible studies.
- As you study, you will have questions. Worldwide Evangelical Ministry will assist you. We are committed to answering your questions. Where we cannot, we will give you links to other resources that will help you to grow in faith. The LORD raised our ministry for this purpose. We are to equip His saints (followers of Christ) with life-giving and life-changing messages. Whatever assistance we render is free. We will NEVER ask you to send us money or material gift. “Freely you have received, freely give” is the LORD’S command to us. We hope that in return you too will preach the gospel of Christ without charge to others.
- As we progress, we shall create a platform where we will link followers of Christ in a neighbourhood with each other. That way, a fellowship that started with 2 or 3 could become 50 or more in an area as time goes on. The purpose of having people in an area come together is not to create a larger congregation or for anyone to start a big church. Rather it is to have those in each area come together, have fellowship and organize evangelical outreaches in their neighbourhood.
- When a fellowship in an area grows, there will be the temptation for someone to take over the group. He will say he has special gifts. Do not believe Him because his purpose is to start collecting tithes and offerings for his personal use. When that happens, you should know that he is a false brother. Every follower of Christ has one or more spiritual gifts. No one is special.
- Worldwide Evangelical Ministry is not against the collection of offerings in a gathering of God’s people. Such collection, while biblical, has led to the fall of many. Many are in ministry today for the sole purpose of enriching themselves through the collection of tithes and offerings. While offerings are biblical, we hold that tithes are not for the New Testament Church (Please read our article on the subject in our website).
- We recommend that house fellowships ask each person, during offering time, to give whatever the LORD lays in their hearts to the poor or someone needy in their neighbourhood. As she gives to that person, she should tell her that Jesus, the One who died for her sins, sent her to bless her.
- Please do not for a moment think that God owes you when you give liberally to the poor in your area. Hasn’t God given you His best–His Son and Holy Spirit? God knows what is good for you. Just go about His business (witnessing to a dying world with God’s word and living an exemplary life) and He will enlarge your coast as He sees fit. Your service should never be anchored on the expectation that God will make you rich. It should always be from a heartfelt desire to help free those in bondage just as you were before someone preached the gospel of Christ to you. God always rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6b).
In closing I leave you with these verses of Scripture–admonition and advice, which David gave to Solomon:
And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever (1Chron 28:9 NLT).
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly (1Chron 28:20 NLT).
Following the LORD is easy when you are fully yielded to Him. If you follow the instructions in the above verses, all the work that God has purposed in your life will be finished correctly.
May the LORD bless and keep you. May He enable you to run this race and do the work of ministry as He purposed for you while still in your mother’s womb, in Jesus name, I pray.