Ex. 12:40 π Ex. 13:17 π Ex. 14:10-11 π Josh. 15:14 π Mt. 4:4 π Mt. 23:8-10 π Mt. 24:4 π Mt. 24:10 π Acts 20:30 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Ths. 2:9 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π Rev. 3:17 π Rev. 17:5
“Now it came about when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt.’” ( Ex. 13:17; top )
Israel had been in Egypt 430 years ( Ex. 12:40 ) but exactly how much of that was a time of slavery to Egypt is not recorded. But the Lord knew that, after what was certainly many generations of slavery, the people of Israel were not ready to make war. This was why when Pharaoh chased after them to the Red Sea, they were very afraid and expected to die. ( Ex. 14:10-11; top ) It was only the supernatural intervention of God that prevented the slaughter of Israel at this very vulnerable stage.
As the people of Christ make their exodus from the apostate “church,” most of the people face a similar condition. In the “church” there is a hidden slave mentality that, even after we have left the “church,” permeates everything we say and do as followers of Christ. In the “church” there are only two positions – master and slave, teacher and pupil. Jesus said, however, “But you are not to be called rabbi (teacher), for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven. And do not be called leaders (teachers); for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.” ( Mt. 23:8-10; top ) We are to be neither master nor teacher for we are all brothers with only one Father who is in heaven. How simple it is when we hear the truth from the only Master’s lips! But the “church” still makes these two classifications – clergy and laity, teacher and pupil, master and slave, all different names for the same distinction - nonetheless. One who is not a slave must be a master and teacher just as one who is not a master must be a slave and pupil. There simply is no place in the slave mentality for the idea of brother standing next to brother as equals in a commonly-held truth ready to battle a common foe. This is what the “church” has programmed into us by forcing us to sit at the feet of the supposedly superior, eloquent, ear-scratching Nicolaitan masters in the pulpit.
Picture a battlefield of soldiers of Paul’s day. One or two soldiers are wearing and using their armor and weapons in front of a crowd of naked, weak, starving, dying soldiers who are sitting down at their feet, drooling and panting to hear more words spoken to them. Along comes the enemy and the result is a slaughter.
Down the row a little bit are two soldiers fighting over who gets to be the one standing up and talking down to another crowd of naked, weak, starving, dying soldiers. Along comes the enemy and the result is a slaughter.
But, hey, what’s that one guy doing over there? He’s got his eye on the horizon for the coming of an enemy but he’s reaching down and pulling up some of those soldiers and giving them armor and weapons and telling them to stop sitting on their butts and stand in a line. Why, he’s telling them they’re responsible for their own section of the line and that he’s not going to be able to do much for them because he’s holding his own section of the line. What? All those first soldiers are now helping other soldiers up and equipping them. Why, that’s starting to look like a unit there. They’re practicing raising the Roman shield wall. Hey, here comes the enemy! What do you know – the soldiers are still standing their ground. What? The trumpets are sounding “Attack” and this unit is marching forward and taking ground? Wow! And it all happened so quickly too – too quickly for the enemy to adjust and retaliate.
The slave mentality is all about who will be on top or at least look like it – even for the slave this is all it is about – even as everyone knows the enemy is moving in for an all-out kill. The over/under part of “lording over” is just as repugnant and despised by the Lord as the lording (authoritarian) part. The warrior mentality looks for brothers and sisters who can “fly by the seat of the spirit” (walk by faith and the leading of the Spirit of God and not by sight), whose highest priority is the will of God (whatever that may be and however much it might cost), who love the truth more than they love their own lives and reputations and whose connections with this world are light and almost non-existent. Spiritually speaking, anyone who walks by sight (planning every detail), who scoffs at the notion of seeking God’s will on everything, whose love for his own opinions is stronger than his love for the truth (especially opinions about himself but also his “convictions” and “beliefs” about general spiritual truths), whose worldly possessions are anchored to him like a ball and chain, this one does not have a warrior’s heart but rather has a slave’s mindset. Can we see which side of this equation we belong to? We desperately need to ask the Lord to search our hearts and show us the truth of this matter.
Many have no firsthand experiential knowledge of what “fly by the seat of the spirit” means. They might understand what “flying by the seat of your pants” means but this is different. The latter is when men improvise and slide along by their own guess-work and intuition. The former is when a mature believer steps through very real situations in real life by the manifold leadings of the Spirit – and this is merely the routine expression of our walking by faith and the Spirit and not by sight. Many in the “church,” especially “pastors,” know well how to organize and plan and follow their own pre-conceived ideas. These skills are considered quite useful and valuable in the “church.”
And yet most “church”-ites don’t have the first clue what walking by faith and the leading of the Spirit of God really means. They don’t recognize how necessary it is to submit everything to the Spirit of God to see if and when He does have preferences. These are the “skills” that are absolutely essential to fight for the kingdom of Christ and God. These are the “basic skills” that all citizen-soldiers of Christ’s kingdom of light must know and possess. Yet these “church”-ites, particularly the “pastors” – who have little or none of these bare-minimum kingdom essentials – carry themselves around as if they are the superior one who needs to be teaching everyone else! This is the clearest manifestation of the “church” slave mentality: “I’m a better slave than you are!”
It is no wonder that Christ still says, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” ( Rev. 3:17; top )
The first two examples above (of soldiers sitting at the feet of men) are the “church’s” slave mentality – the third example (of soldiers being raised up to form an orderly rank) is the warrior mentality. Note well how subtle yet significant are the differences. The men in the first and second examples do almost exactly the same things as the man in the third. All three men believe themselves to be doing God’s work. Each one speaks to a man initially near his feet. Each one believes himself to be equipping the lower soldier to be able to fight. The difference is found only in the motives and goals of the standing men – and in the fruit of what the men accomplish.
The first two expect to spend the rest of their lives speaking down to slaves – never knowing they are only perpetuating the slavery institution. The third man expects to have a well-equipped, well-armed, able-bodied (even if not yet experienced or seasoned) soldier standing next to him in a short amount of time, a soldier who can watch his back should an enemy catch this third man unaware. The first two men believe themselves to be “teachers” (those who discuss and talk about the theories of war and fighting) – the third man knows he is a warrior like Caleb who is not afraid to step up and take the head of any giant or demonic enemy of God who gets in front of his sword. ( Josh. 15:14; top )
The third man does not want anyone to sit at his feet. He does not consider anyone in need of his “ministry,” at least they better not need him for very long – he’s got other work to do. He knows that he is outnumbered and outgunned on all sides and, for the survival and well-being of all, he needs all the real allies he can find. All the fellow soldiers in his unit need to be as well-equipped, well-armed and alert as can be. Anyone who still thinks in terms of sitting at feet or presenting an aura of superiority or infallibility is not yet ready for war and is truly only trying to win the position of “teacher,” a position Christ said we are not to hold. Such a one – whether master or slave, teacher or pupil, clergy or laity – is still bound in the “church” slave mentality. Such as these will even fight back against the third man as he tries to raise them up to a standing position in the line beside him.
“Pastors” who somehow manage to find a way to make their exodus from the “church,” must take extra care to be purged of all the leaven they’ve absorbed. There simply is no credit for time served – particularly for any time served in the “church” ways as “pastor,” assistant-“pastor,” over-“pastor” or whatever. In fact, these very years in the service of the “church” are the times the “pastor” submitted himself routinely to the demonic and their deceptions to do “the work of the Lord.” Any “pastor” who has escaped the “church” may yet need to learn whether and how he might still be doing the same things only in a more subtle way.
Any “pastor” who for years was demonically manipulated in his “work of the Lord,” any who subsequently refuses or avoids the “wilderness training period” (which would largely train the slave methods and mentality out of him), any who refuses to submit to the Lord’s work that requires him to purify himself of enemy influence and any who ridicule basic spiritual foundational truths (about both the spiritual life and warfare in the Lord), these simply are not now fit and ready for combat. And especially not leadership in combat! Instead, these are still a prisoner of the enemy and quite capable of being used as a double agent. Unless these repent and stand down and seek the full and true restoration of the Lord – and one simply cannot tell how long that process will take – that “pastor” simply cannot be trusted to lead others only to the Lord. The demonic still uses this one to sow subtle seeds that can later grow into yet one more version of “church.”
This is precisely what occurred in the house “church” movement. “Leaders” of the “church” bailed on the “church” (many times simply because they could not be the senior “pastor”!) and brought Nicolaitanism (one man or majority rule over the people) or sectarianism (the house “church” denomination came into being because now house “church”-ites, especially our kind of house “church”-ites, are the only “real followers of Christ”) and few saw how the same sins of the “church” were being reproduced but only on a smaller scale.
Church historians all agree that the first ekklesia, the followers of Christ of the first century, simply had no “ecclesiastical organs”! That is, they had absolutely no structure of leadership to which men were drawn. (see
) There was no one standing “in the place of God” over the local assemblies (Ignatius of Antioch, died c. 110
One simply cannot walk out of the “church” one day and be a leader in the genuine ekklesia the next. It just cannot happen. Anyone who thinks it can is deceived. The Lord must take those who been leavened with “church” traditions and deceptions out and they must endure a time in the wilderness in which the flesh withers and only the spirit survives – and even that survives only by the grace of God. It is only in the wilderness that we learn the deep truth that “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ( Mt. 4:4 ) It is there we learn that we must not let any man continually teach us ( 1 Jn. 2:27; top ) and that only those who have learned these hard and deep truths can be trusted to pursue God’s will at the cost of their lives, that is, trusted to stand beside us as fellow citizen-soldiers of Christ’s kingdom of light, in a word, true and genuine ekklesia.
Let he who has ears hear.
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