Tag Team

Lords of Darkness

Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Chapter:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Dt. 11:29 π Isa. 28:13 π Jer. 2:8 π Jer. 3:15 π Jer. 10:21 π Jer. 12:10 π Jer. 17:16 π Jer. 22:22 π Jer. 23:1-2 π Mt. 5:13-14 π Mt. 6:6 π Mt. 7:15 π Mt. 18:12-13 π Mt. 20:25-26 π Mt. 24:10-12 π Mt. 27:51 π Mk. 10:42-43 π Lk. 4:17; 2nd π Lk. 5:36-39 π Lk. 15:4-7 π Lk. 17:1-2 π Lk. 22:25-26 π Jn. 7:17; 2nd π Acts 7:48; 2nd π 1 Cor. 16:1-3 π 2 Cor. 9:7 π Gal. 5:19-21 π Eph. 4:11; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π Eph. 4:12 π 2 Ths. 2:10 π 1 Tim. 3:1-7 π 1 Tim. 4:1-3 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2nd π Tit. 1:5-9 π Tit. 2:1-15 π Heb. 6:4-6 π Jas. 2:2 π Jas. 2:3 π Jas. 3:16 π 1 Pet. 2:3 π 1 Pet. 2:5 π 2 Pet. 1:4 π 2 Pet. 1:5-7 π 2 Pet. 3:9 π Jude 3 π Rev. 2:6; 2nd π Rev. 2:15; 2nd π Rev. 19:7

If the Satanic entities we have studied worked alone they would be formidable enough. But as we have already seen in several instances, the demonic excels at what it does, in part, precisely because they do work together in their vast scams against humanity.

We have seen how the ruler of fearing man works closely with the other rulers of darkness, invoking reverential obedience to the spirit of antichrist’s Nicolaitan clergy, invoking fear of a principality’s evil governmental police and/or policies, invoking fear of one’s superiors or colleagues in one’s field of work, invoking fear of what other people will think if we aren’t awash in every gadget, toy and luxury the spirit of mammon would have us believe we need.

We have also seen how the tithe brings together the rulers of false religion, displacing Christ and mammon. The ruler of false religion deceives us back under law and we, with a set percentage of our wealth, support the “church” and its Nicolaitan clergy in what we mistakenly believe to be some “work of God” where our wealth is wasted on a “house” that God neither wants nor needs. And we have seen how mammon’s scams to get us to misuse our wealth rely on false religion’s “church” “discipleship” methods that derail us from attaining to true spiritual maturity. Mammon interacts also with principalities and the spirit of false religion causing governments to make certain charities (especially the “churches” that bow down to the government) tax deductible, thus giving mammon a level of control over both the givers in their vicarious charity and over the organization to which the charity is given.

The powers behind the educational system manipulate that system to produce quiet, dependent (enslaved) automatons (employees, servants) for mammon’s career-to-get-luxuries system. In this case, the educational system trains young people to absorb vast quantities of knowledge they will never use (even making them take work home!) and teaches them little or nothing that would make independent thinkers and doers, world movers and shakers. Then, the “church” imitates the worldly education system by making the “pastor” more like a university professor than a true shepherd! So much for being salt and light in a dying world. (see Mt. 5:13-14; top )

The most interactive system these lords of darkness have created is, far and away, the “church.” Begun as the synagogue (the Jewish “public school” system) during Israel’s Babylonian captivity and wedded to the pagan temples of Rome in the third century, false religion’s “church” is a haven for the spirit of antichrist’s Nicolaitan clergy, for mammon’s plots to get us to misuse our resources, for the ruler of fearing man’s schemes to cause us to follow man’s teachings and traditions (in many cases, using the very words of the Bible to do so!) and for the spirit of error to pass along its deceptive whisperings to the hearts of believers, non-believers and pseudo-believers alike. As James said,

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there. ( Jas. 3:16; top )

This is the modern “church.” Those who deny this are the captives of one or more of the rulers of darkness.

The scope of the religious scam the demonic has worked against the people of Christ is seen most clearly when we compile a list of the main items and concepts which are heavily relied upon in “churchianity” - items and concepts not even found in the Scriptures!

Peter wrote:

[God has] given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these [promises] you may be partakers of the divine nature... ( 2 Pet. 1:4; top )

If these items and concepts we are about to examine cannot even be found anywhere within God’s great and precious promises - the Scriptures - how can they have anything to do with partaking of the divine nature, that is, living the life of Christ? The simple answer is: they can’t. When we can recognize the extent of the deception, we will then be free to become more the spotless, blameless bride of Christ ready for Christ’s return. Until then, our garments will remain stained with darkness.

Take this list to your own exhaustive concordance or Bible computer program:

Every one of these items are conspicuously absent from the Scriptures yet they are hinge pins or even centerpieces of the “church.” Let us examine each one in more detail.

“Pastor”: If we look in the King James or New King James version (and a few other English versions as well), we do find the English word “pastors” (plural) used once in the New Testament. ( Eph. 4:11 ) The word is used along with four other categories of leaders that the Lord gives to His people to equip His people for the work of attending to the interests and responsibilities of His kingdom of light. ( Eph. 4:12; top ) This one usage, especially tucked in as it is with a list of other equally important leadership giftings, does not justify the prominent, exalted and, in many cases, even worshiped position of “pastor” that is practiced in virtually every institutionalized “church.”

This should be even more apparent when we recognize that Paul gives his two assistant apostles Timothy and Titus (not bishops as the KJV inaccurately claims - ever wonder why so many “Christian” groups, organizations and individuals insist on “King James only,” even to the point of dividing over it? Because the demonic managed to insert some key concepts into the printing of the Scriptural texts!) the qualifications of overseers (bishops) - Greek episkopas - and elders - Greek presbuteros - ( 1 Tim. 3:1-7 ; Tit. 1:5-9 ) but he gives no similar qualifications for “pastors” nor any of the other four leaders of Eph. 4:11 (top) .

But the deception does not end there. The English word “pastor” is inserted for the Greek word “poimenas” which every other time it is used in the New Testament is translated “shepherd.” If we trace the origins of the English word back through its Latin origins, we find that “pastor” is derived from roots that go to the Greek god Pan, the half-goat, half-human god of herdsman and pastures! “Pastor” is from a Latin word! There is no way “pastors” were included in the original Greek. Think about it.

While one can perhaps dismiss the linguistic differences as the mere transition of languages over time, one cannot dismiss the stark contrast between true spiritual shepherds and “church” “pastors.” The KJV translators of 1611 apparently felt compelled to insert the English word “pastor” in the Scriptures somewhere ( Eph. 4:11 ; Jer. 2:8 ; 3:15 ; 10:21 ; 12:10 ; 17:16 ; 22:22 ; 23:1-2; top ) because the Anglican “church,” like the Catholic “church” before it, had titled positions called “pastors.” The irony of this is that the Catholic and Anglican “pastors” may have been more like genuine spiritual shepherds than were the Anglican and Catholic clergy! Today, however, the modern “pastor” is little more than a Nicolaitan overlord ( Rev. 2:6 , 15; top ) who, even in normal, routine “church” business, lords over those who have foolishly placed themselves under his hand. And the “pastor” is anything but a shepherd who knows every sheep by name and who lays his life down for the sheep - even though he is most often paid a handsome, even exorbitant, salary to do so! Most often, the “pastor” wears the “wool” of his congregation ( Mt. 7:15 ) and butchers, abandons or even drives off the hundredth sheep ( Mt. 18:12-13 ; Lk. 15:4-7; top ) so he can keep the ninety-nine (the largest and best tithers) comfortable and faithful to himself and/or his sect.

A “pastor” is set in office either by himself or by other men - not God. Often this involves politics that rival the world’s machinations and the “pastor” applicant must be a confirmed sycophant of at least one of those who get to choose the new clergyman. God’s callings and giftings within the man (assuming there are any) - and especially if the man is supposed to be one of the five giftings ( Eph. 4:11; top ) - are distorted, squelched or completely over-ridden as the man tries to give himself completely over to his new position of power and responsibility - the “pastor.” In order for a man to become a “pastor,” he must buy into a number of lies - the perfect breeding ground for demonic influence and control. Any saving grace a “pastor” might accrue (during the time the wheat and the tares are permitted to remain together) is in how much of his real gifting from God (apostle, prophet, herald, shepherd, instructor, whatever) he manages to grow into in spite of his efforts to be the “church” “pastor.”

Pulpit: The closest one can come to finding a pulpit in the Scriptures is the reading table from the synagogue. ( Lk. 4:17; top ) This vague reference alone (especially since the reading table does differ from the modern pulpit) does not justify the pulpit’s central, elevated place in nearly every “church,” a place that separates and divides the clergy from the laity - especially since clergy is a distortion of Christlike leadership. This reference ( Lk. 4:17 ) is even less of a Scriptural basis since the synagogue was clearly rejected in the New Testament as the pattern of assembly. James, most likely the first book written in the New Testament, is the only book that speaks of followers of Christ meeting in a synagogue - and that only in a passing remark! ( Jas. 2:2; top ) The later books show a different pattern of assembly. In addition to being rejected in the New Testament, the synagogue simply and absolutely has no place in the Old Testament whatsoever. In fact, the synagogue is the direct result of disobedience to God’s laws while the Jews were held captive in Babylon. The synagogue was, in effect, the “public school” with its professional teachers (the rabbis who produced little but divisiveness and traditionalism, both of which war against God’s will for His people) whereas God had told His people to homeschool. ( Dt. 11:29; top )

The pulpit is simply not to be found in the Scriptures!!!

But it is found in the pagan, Roman temples around the time of Constantine - it was called an ambo. So is the platform from which the “pontiffs” (recognize the Catholic sect’s title for clergy? - literally, the “bridge” between the god and the people) declared the words of the god to the people.

Pew: The closest one can come to a pew is where James speaks of having the rich man sit in a good place but having the poor man stand or sit by one’s footstool. ( Jas. 2:3; top ) This, like the reading table above, is found only in the context of the synagogue and is therefore excluded from being useful as a pattern for assembly.

Clergy: This has been discussed previously so let us just summarize here. The word “clergy” derives from the Greek word “kleros,” the heritage or portion of God, His people. ( 1 Pet. 2:3 ) In the time of the so-called “church” “fathers,” the clergy came to be a superior, more-valued portion of God’s flock. Nowadays, most clergy, especially “pastors,” often act as if the rules for being a member in God’s flock don’t even apply to them in any way!

“Church” buildings: This too has been discussed previously so again let us simply summarize here. God does not live in buildings made by human hands ( Acts 7:48 ) but rather lives in His people who are said to be living stones. ( 1 Pet. 2:5 ) There simply is no New Testament temple or house to build for God! This is why the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died ( Mt. 27:51; top ) and why God caused the old temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed in 70 A.D.!

Denominations: Actually, denominations are easily found in the Scriptures! We need only re-examine the list of the works of the flesh that keep us from inheriting the kingdom of God ( Gal. 5:19-21; top ) to find the concept of denominations. The word in particular that strikes at denominationalism is “dissensions” or “divisions” (Greek “dichostasia”). The word picture here is larger than that of the English words. It is of “twice” or “again” (“dicho” as in dichotomy) and “standing” (“stasia” as in stasis).

We are called to be the one body of Christ. The thousands of denominations that exist were almost all formed as a result of one sect of Christ’s proclaimed followers dissenting and dividing from one another. It is impossible for those who thus form to be a valid and complete expression of the kingdom of God. This doesn’t mean that God did not use these denominations to some extent as He uses all things for His own (even the sinking of the Titanic, for example) but the denominations were not fully of Him either. As the people of Christ mature to being the spotless, blameless bride ready for His return, all things that are not of Him must vanish from our midst.

The body of Christ (like the human body) is filled with living, breathing, moving, pumping (all ongoing action words) body parts. Stasia is static. It’s like taking a photograph or drawing (and thus killing) a blood sample of what we think God was saying or doing at a particular time or in a particular man. Thus there is the Catholic stasia, the Lutheran stasia, the Calvin stasia, the Protestant stasia, the Evangelical stasia, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. The dichos part of the word kicks in when we divide ourselves away from those who won’t adhere to our own man-made stasia. It is the “double standard” - believe as I do or leave - a distinctive part of nearly every “church” “pastor’s” strategy! Denominational headquarters is also the most likely place to find “brothers” to lord over you in direct disobedience to Christ’s commands otherwise. ( Mt. 20:25-26 ; Mk. 10:42-43 ; Lk. 22:25-26 ; Rev. 2:6 , 15; top ) God will allow many denominations (even “non-denominational” denominations! - see any contradiction in terms here?) to build its world-wide headquarters and establish its “pastors” and clergy as some mega-CEO to push the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith ( 1 Tim. 4:1-3 ; Mt. 24:10-12; top ) across the globe!

Some have tried to defend denominations on the basis of the works they have produced over the years. Denominations have indeed built hospitals, universities and schools, etc. But how much more could the people of Christ done if they hadn’t built God all those houses He doesn’t live in anyway ( Acts 7:48; top ) and had instead worked together at the community level to establish a purer expression of the kingdom of God and the body of Christ? It is also to be noted that the world has also built many fine schools, universities and hospitals too. What makes the people of Christ different here?

The New Testament tithe: This also has been discussed previously so yet again let us summarize. The closest one can come to the idea of tithing is Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians (regarding their collection for the impoverished Jerusalem saints) to lay something aside on the first day of the week. ( 1 Cor. 16:1-3 ) As this is a collection for poor and troubled saints in a particular city at a particular time, it is very difficult to say this is the set percentage tithe that is almost universally in almost all instances of income and increase virtually demanded by the clergy so that they can maintain their own exorbitant and extravagant lifestyles at their congregation’s expense - especially since the Corinthians’ gifts were to be what each one had purposed in his own heart to give ( 2 Cor. 9:7; top ) and not any set percentage!

Note this carefully!!! Not one of these things can be found in the Scriptures as a way to honor, obey and worship God and each one of these things have a detrimental effect, to one extent or another, on our spiritual life in Christ.

Some people believe that the bride’s necessary purification will occur within the context of the “church.” This is simply not possible. “Church” leadership today regularly reject and decry the truth about “church” as heretical and ungodly just as the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day rejected and decried His teachings as demonic blasphemy. Reform is not an option for the institutional “church” anymore than it was an option for Judaism under the Pharisees and Sadducees. A new wineskin was - and is - required for the new wine. ( Lk. 5:36-39 ) Modern “pastors” - by virtue of their stranglehold on their congregation’s minds through their careful control over who gets into their pulpits - will not permit the truths to be told in their “church” any more than the Jewish leaders made a place for Jesus’ teachings in their synagogues. And traditional Judaism could only bring spiritual death once the Law and the Prophets were fulfilled. So too can the traditional, institutional “church” - in all its forms and spinoffs, including the mega-“church” and the home “church” that inadvertently incorporates “church” principles - only bring spiritual death as the bride (the body, the real people of Christ, the ekklesia) readies herself for her Husband’s return. (see Rev. 19:7; top )

Why has this deception grown so large? Because, in addition to God allowing it to be so while the wheat and the tares mature together, most people who attend “church” have no real desire (either because of demonic deceptions or simple self-centeredness) to know or do God’s will. Most want only a cultural feel-good religious experience that makes them somewhat “better” people who feel “better” about themselves (though quite often “church” attendees suffer under more guilt than anyone else!). As a result of this lack of a genuine desire to know and do God’s will, they have rejected the only spiritual protection against deception ( Jn. 7:17 ), they have rejected sound doctrine ( Tit. 2:1-15 ) and have instead heaped up teachers – “pastor”-teachers! - who will tell them stories that scratch their ears and that keep them “faithful” (at least to the “church” or the “pastor” - 2 Tim. 4:3-4 ) - even while they fall away from the true faith that was delivered once for all. ( Jude 3; top )

Until we love truth more than our own opinions ( 2 Ths. 2:10 ) and desire God’s will more than our own ( Jn. 7:17; top ), the modern “church” paradigm will continue to seem like a good thing.

There are some - most often some “church” attendee or leader - who respond to the criticisms against the “church” by saying, “Well, God must have allowed it for some purpose.” The blindness concealed behind this objection is staggering. Yes, God has allowed the “church” to exist because the tares needed a hiding place! God has also allowed serial killers and child molesters to go uncaught and unpunished in this life! (There is indeed too much similarity between the “pastors” and “church” leaders who do their mutilations to the spirits and souls of their victims and these serial killers and child molesters who do their damage on the physical plane!) God also allowed the Jews to be so blinded by their traditions that they murdered their Messiah. Do we really want to belong in the same category as these? Jesus said it clearly:

It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. ( Lk. 17:1-2; top )

Those who deny that the “church” system thwarts the will of God have forgotten that

...[God is] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. ( 2 Pet. 3:9 )

and that

...it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance... ( Heb. 6:4-6; top )

When one of His little ones is so offended that he or she succumbs to the spirit-numbing darkness of the “church” and fails to depart from all iniquity but instead perishes behind the veils of the gods of this age, God’s will for that one is thwarted. We have played the games of false religion for so long that following Christ is no longer a dangerous, lethal struggle!

There is a physical picture occurring in the world at the time of this writing of what the “church” is doing on spiritual levels. In Uganda, it is reported that a charismatic leader heads up a “Christian” cult that challenges the legitimate government for power. According to these reports:

Children are kidnaped and forced to serve as soldiers for and servants to the cult leaders.

These children are mutilated and tortured for disobedience and even killed if caught attempting to escape. Often other children are forced to torture or murder these “wayward” children. Some children have been forced to murder their own parents.

The bloody clashes between the cult and the government disrupts the life of everyone living in the country.

The “Christian” cult was originally funded and supported by Islamic elements of another country who wanted to destabilize Uganda.

News coverage of the atrocities done in Uganda is virtually non-existent for the Western media.

How is this like the “church”?

New believers are diverted from attaining to genuine spiritual maturity ( 2 Pet. 1:5-7; top ) in a number of ways, chief of which is believing that listening to a sermon and being a somewhat “better” person is all that Christ intends for us. These believers are expected and trained to take up quiet, passive subservient and supportive roles underneath the “pastor” and the “church” staff.

Believers are bludgeoned with fearful threats to keep them from leaving the “church” and, when they come into contact with deeper truths of God, are forced to choose between the “church” and those truths. Often this is a bloody, tumultuous encounter that drives many people away from all contact with the Bible, God and Christ.

Because the “church” is really a perverse counterfeit of God?s authority, the real body of Christ, the ekklesia, that is still in bondage to some darkness within the system is kept from realizing its full potential.

The “church” - especially with its modern buildings, luxuries and amenities - is a product of the work of the demonic, especially false religion, antichrist and mammon (riches, wealth) and is not a work of God.

Even when the truth is told (as has been done in this work) it will be down-played or completely dismissed in the pulpits and by those under the control of the demonic.

Let he who has ears hear.

Perhaps the saddest example of how these rulers will gang up on someone is how they take down men, especially preachers who come from a religious background, who begin to see the truth about some of these deceptions but who fail to understand and guard against the rest of Satan’s pride, his lions and lionesses, whose schemes are equally dangerous and lethal.

One preacher was freed from false religion’s “church,” began to call for more interactive community among believers and even spoke against the Nicolaitan overlords. But his understanding of all that it means to be clergy was limited. While he worked to see people leave the “church” and come out from under the “pastors,” he failed to see the danger in having an “upper class.” He simply transferred clergy status and privileges to his idea of “elders,” expecting them, in effect, to be another version of heaped up teachers who dispense the Bible “line upon line, precept upon precept.” (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4 ; Isa. 28:13; top ) Fortunately, very few unwary souls have been drawn into his snare.

Another preacher saw the fallacies and deceptions of “church” and even identified the spirit of false religion as the demonic spirit behind the scenes. He began to speak clearly and boldly against the false practices. He received clear revelation from the Spirit of truth and began to preach clearly and convincingly about Christ and our responsibilities to Him and to one another. He received clear instruction from the Lord (both personally and through other prophetically gifted believers) that he should cut back on the number of his speaking engagements and to instead focus on ministering to his family. But he neglected to slow down his “road show,” succumbing instead to flattery that convinced him that “the body of Christ” needed the messages he was speaking, and he became busier than ever. Then the spirit of error whispered in his ear and he was diverted to preaching about end-time events. He came up with interpretations of prophecies that were new but not beyond the realm of Scriptural possibility that would have immediately exposed the deceit of the spirit of error. The fruit of error began to show over time in that people were being diverted away from the teachings of abiding in Christ and of maintaining their responsibilities to Him and to one another. Having come from a “church” background, he was freed from the “church” paradigm but he still clung to doctrines that held vestiges of Nicolaitan clergyism, a resurrected version of the “personal pastor” system. It was not long before this preacher began making Draconian speeches about bowing down to these men and supporting them with the “tithe.” Though this man still preaches, he does nothing of real value for the kingdom of God and instead, draws men after himself - and to the demonic who pull his strings - not much different from any other “church” “pastor” that one can submit one’s self to.

In yet another sorrowful instance, a professional man, skilled in his ability to maintain a professional facade and demeanor, was able to conceal, to a large degree, his personal arrogance. Through his studies and experiences, he was freed, in large degree, from the “church” paradigm, clergyism, fear of man, and even the misuse of wealth. As a result, he apparently came to believe that he was not deceived about anything. The spirit of error came to him, led him to extreme busy-ness, noise and distraction and then began speaking to him when he attempted to pray to the Father in his secret place. ( Mt. 6:6; top ) He began to traffic in false words of knowledge and then to receive overt cultists as “brothers in the Lord.” The Spirit of truth began to warn other believers that this man had become tangled in the brambles and was dangerous to be around but the man himself would not hear the rebuke.

Error π Section III: Walking in the Light
Lords of Darkness

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