Gen. 2:23 π Jdgs. 17:6 π Jdgs. 18:1 π Jdgs. 21:25 π 1 Ki. 13:1-5 π Ezek. 44:6-9 π Mt. 9:17 π Mt. 13:28 π Jn. 17:21; 2nd π Acts 17:11 π 1 Cor. 6:17 π Eph. 5:30 π Col. 3:3 π 2 Tim. 3:5 π 1 Jn. 2:6 π 1 Jn. 4:17 π Rev. 3:1
E-publisher's Note: This simple folded pamphlet was given to me by a sister in the Lord who told me that this was written by a man named Phil Beach probably in the 1980s. The pamphlet itself only gives a contact: River of Life Church, Post Office Box 777, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 USA with the instruction that "Additional copies of this message, and other literature are available upon request, without cost as the Lord enables."
I hesitate to add Phil Beach's name to it because Phil (if that's who wrote it) didn't see any need to add his name to it. This writing is as anonymous as is the man of God who gave the word of the Lord to King Jeroboam at the altar of Bethel ( 1 Ki. 13:1-5; top ) - and the message is just as clearly the word of the Lord. It is a message that has been available to the body of Christ for at least a decade and has been ignored by the leadership of the "church" for the same period of time and we who hunger for the purer expression of the body of Christ have suffered the consequences. As a publisher, I can add little to this message except to say: Let he who has ears to hear hear the word of the Lord to His people.
The only changes made to this anonymous writer's work has been to change archaic King James English to modern equivalents and to add the occasional reference left out by the author for his own reasons. Both of these are simply attempts to aid the reader to be a noble Berean ( Acts 17:11 ) and to overcome the Scriptural and spiritual ignorance and "illiteracy" that abounds in this age of lawlessness (because there truly is no King over the people who claim to belong to Christ, everyone does what is right in his own eyes - see Jdgs. 17:6 , 18:1 , 21:25; top )
Preface: In these days there is much consternation within the ranks of Christendom over the state of division and disunity among the brethren. Many are willing to cry out against this awful condition, seemingly sharing their grief, concern and vision for God's true church to become one. Few are willing to take the steps necessary to make this vision a reality.
The Lord is not after an external unity, but rather, an organic unity, one that is characterized by the partaking of the fullness of Christ's life. This is the sole basis of true Christian unity, as demonstrated in the prayer of the Son of God Himself, "as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You." ( Jn. 17:21; top )
The following message is a challenge to all to allow God to tear down all that is of man in the church thus making a way for the Lord to establish unity - His way. To some, this will be a very costly move, with far-reaching implications. Nevertheless, may the Lord grant to all of us the grace to follow Him fully, that He may secure for Himself a people in whom the travail of Christ's soul may be realized, "that they all may be one." ( Jn. 17:21; top )
Christianity in this hour has been reduced to format, formalism, ego-building dreams and visions of grandeur, emotional worship and worldly, soulical music - all abominations to the Lord, a spectacle to the holy angels and a delight to devils! Yet in the heart of God, nothing of these things constitutes the true, essential substance of Christianity. Each local assembly is desperately seeking to find a way to add to their numbers, as if this had some significance in God's mind. Leadership has become so far removed from the Lord's heart that it has adopted a worldly, secular mentality and cloaked it in Bible terminology, i.e. elders, pastors, deacons, teachers, prophets, etc. Governing principles that determine the growth rates of businesses and corporate establishments have become the mind-set. The "vision" of the church is to build a private kingdom where saints gather around one centralized power structure consisting of a pastor or elders, and here, supposedly, God's work is being done and Christ is being glorified. Saints are backslidden, hard-hearted, caught up with the cares and affairs of this life, full of envy, strife, harsh words to one another - and yet suppose that everything is OK when they "go to church." There, they are emotionally stirred by music to deny and forget their wretched state before a holy God and then begin to (supposedly) worship and sing. Fleshly excitement along with "sloppy agape" (which covers the sin and coddles the sinner rather than demand repentance and abandonment to the Lord) combined with a professional sermon about some entertaining Bible topic, subject or theme deaden the conscience sufficiently and provide the backslidden believer with enough false hope to go until mid-week service where the whole religious ritual is enacted once again. Indeed, a form of religion, a shell of godliness, but the complete absence of the power of God which is Christ Himself, transforming lives into His image! (see 2 Tim. 3:5; top )
Whenever the life of the church is reduced to such a pitiful state of lifeless, dead religion (having "a reputation of being alive, but...dead" Rev. 3:1 NIV; top), the Lord always implements a recovery plan. Of course, the recovery plan is not some steps which a group of people must figure out on some dismal, dark night during a prayer meeting. Nor is this recovery plan to be understood as some principle for Christian renewal, nor is it an innovative method of evangelism or revival. The sum total of God's complete recovery program is Christ Himself! God's action, or perhaps we could say reaction, against increasing religious apostasy is a fresh, living, vital unveiling of all the beauties, qualities and eternal significance of Christ. God's recovery plan for the church is to give a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ; of His finished work on Calvary, His death, burial and resurrection, and His place at the throne of the universe; along with an all-important revelation of what the church really is, i.e. a corporate expression, by the indwelling, energizing power of the Holy Spirit, through redeemed, blood-washed, born again saints, of what Christ is in character, nature and utter splendor!
Beloved, it is so essential that floods of light from heaven shine brightly once again into our hearts' eyes enabling us to see that Christianity is Christ, His life, His beauty being revealed and expressed through living stones, the body of Christ. External ritual, robotic liturgy, emotionally stirring music and gifted rhetoric have absolutely nothing to do with the essential meaning of Christianity and the body-life of the true church. Nor do church power structures with human authority cloaked in the man-made and appointed positions of pastor, elders, ruling boards, etc. All that is not an expression of Christ in living, vital, organic reality must come to a complete end if we are to experience the full and complete recovery that the Lord is after.
Beloved, the nature of the present judgment that God is implementing in His house, the church, is twofold. First, the Lord intends to bring, by a move of His grace, a fresh apprehension, a living, vital, renewed vision of the absolute significance of Christ - who He is and what He is unto the church, as her actual life and exclusive standard of expression. Then, simultaneously, He desires to remove all that is in us, both on an individual and corporate basis, which is not according to and in agreement with Christ Himself! Therefore, everything in the church must be unto this end - making way for what is of Christ and, at the same time, removing all that is of the old creation and all its many facets and aspects.
Let us now examine more closely the tremendous spiritual deception, seduction and delusion occurring in profound abundance within the ranks of Christendom. Satan, through a demon called human potential, is making an all-out attempt to usurp the exclusive place of Christ as the only one who has rights in the church as its head and life and as the only one to whom power, glory, honor and dominion belong! The tremendous spiritual war over the issue of Christ's place as chief in and over the church has become intensified with dire effects. God's recovery plan also includes renewed discernment with the power by Him to expose and cast out from among us this horrible demon of human potential. Nothing less will satisfy the heart of God.
Ezekiel tells us that a terrible travesty is committed when the "uncircumcised" are free to parade in the house of God. ( Ezek. 44:6-9; top ) The "uncircumcised" could refer not only to the unregenerate person who masquerades as a true member of Christ (but in actuality is dead in the uncircumcision of the flesh), but also to the believer who gives place to any expression that is not out from Christ Himself, which is giving forethought as to how to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Tragically, today it is common for believers to indulge in the impulses of their old nature. This has resulted in much damage to the true testimony of Jesus which God is committed to secure. Thus, much of what is in the church by way of leadership (though adorned in religious garments and having the appearance of godliness) is nothing more than the presence of human potential in the house of God, robbing and usurping the exclusive place of Christ who alone is the chief shepherd and preeminent one. In our day, an entire system of religious belief and practice is thought to be acceptable because of our undiscerning acceptance of ideas concerning such things as leadership, church structure, etc. Thus the modern church is full of ideas which not only are unscriptural but which are perverse and bring ruin to her spiritual life. The result is actually the shutting out of the full, spontaneous outflow of Christ's life and stature being manifested in all His people, while keeping the place of ascendance and preeminence open to the demon of human potential.
You see beloved, all aspects of church life and activity including both worship and leadership in local fellowships, etc. are only to be expressions of Christ's life through crucified, blood-washed saints whose lives are "hid with Christ in God." ( Col. 3:3; top ) Man's hands have absolutely nothing to do with the development or outworking of spiritual leadership. This is precisely the ground where the demon of human potential has become entrenched, thus exerting its antichrist influence in the church. When men, by their own power, by their own wisdom, by their own planning, by their own reasoning, by their own initiative, try to create anything in the church, human potential has begun to express itself with disastrous results. Eventually you end up with an entire external system of religious works all void of the reality which is Christ Himself. Man cannot create a "New Testament Church"! The things we read in our Bibles about worship, evangelism, local church fellowship and leadership etc. are only real and valid when they are the expression of Christ by the energizing power of the Spirit.
When Christ's life is being made a living reality from day to day, even moment to moment in the life of saints, all the spiritual dynamics of worship, church life, etc. are abounding - not as a system of external code but by virtue of His life exploding in their lives. Contrariwise, when spiritual life has become so low, so earthly, so focused upon the temporal and passing that the fresh, daily vision of the living Christ becomes dim, then Satan moves in and compels men to create, by their own power (though very religious and outwardly looking so good), manmade (but devil inspired) substitutes for the realities which are only to be found in Christ! Here we have the demon of human potential in the house of God creating havoc!
In actuality, the real motive behind the tremendous attack by the demon of human potential is to try to prevent God's true intention for the church's existence from being realized. The question we must ask then is, what indeed is the Lord's intention, the Lord's thought for the existence of the church? Beloved, there can only be one answer to this all-important question! Our Lord's intention is for the church to be His very body - the place where Christ in His living fullness may be expressed and demonstrated for all eternity. The church is wholly the product of Christ's mighty power, brought into existence by the finished work of Calvary. Through the new birth, the individual believer is actually created into Christ, becoming an extension of His very life. Christ Jesus remains distinct in His person and deity but we are joined to Him and become one spirit, created by God to become an expression of all that Christ is in His character!
Let us then consider the account of the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter two as a great object lesson, a shadow in which we learn something of this vital truth regarding Christ and His church! As Eve was taken out from Adam so the church is actually taken out of Christ to become, in full growth, a corporate manifestation of Him. When Adam looked at Eve he was, in fact, seeing something of himself, something of his very nature and character, something vitally one in essence and substance with himself. For this reason Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (v. 23 ) Likewise, we, by virtue of our origin in the spiritual loins of Christ, are a living organism sharing the identical essence, the identical substance of what He is in resurrection life! Doesn't the scripture say that we are "members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones" ( Eph. 5:30 ) and that, "he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" ( 1 Cor. 6:17; top )?
Christianity has no basis of existence if it is not to be the expression of Christ in new creatures, born ones of God, with Christ Himself as their very life! Christianity is God's mystery of implanting into His Son a many-membered people called a new creation man. We are transformed by the new birth and by the power of His Spirit are made to become partakers of what He is, as to His lovely character. We are reconstituted after the very likeness and image, organically speaking, of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus! " He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. ... as He is, so are we in this world." ( 1 Jn. 2:6 and 1 Jn. 4:17; top ) Christ became like us in every way except sin so we may become like Him in every way except deity.
When this fundamental truth dawns on our hearts by the illuminating power of the precious Holy Spirit and we see its significance, we can then see why Satan (through his demons of human potential) is relentlessly seeking to steal, rob and usurp that place in the church which belongs exclusively to the expression of what Christ is by the power of the Spirit of God! Tremendous effort is made by the powers of darkness toward this end - to keep the church from being simply an expression of Christ (in corporate life, testimony and deed) and to contaminate it through the invasion of human potential, i.e., human power, earthly fellowship, worldly, soulical worship, manmade rule and government and human organized and controlled churches. Presently we are deluged with precisely this! Nevertheless, the truth remains that the church is called to express Christ alone!
Earlier, we touched upon certain spiritual dynamics, i.e. church life, leadership within the church, church on a local level, etc. which have nothing to do with man's creation or power but, in their purity, are only practical expressions of Christ in the church through the power of the Holy Spirit. We now want to look specifically into how the demon of human potential has lowered two of these spiritual realities from their purely spiritual origin and operation and made them earthly, robotic, man-empowered systems of practice. No doubt as we look to the Lord for light on the next subject we will require much of His grace to be enabled to give way to enlargement in these matters. We must not hold tightly to any system or practice lest we be guilty of asking our Father to deposit new wine in our old wineskins of religious tradition. If He does, the old wineskins will break to pieces! (see Mt. 9:17; top )
Man has cheaply imitated what only Christ is with regard to worship. Yet, true worship can only occur as men's hearts are enabled in ever increasing splendor to express something of Christ by the power of the Spirit. Worship is not in its essential nature singing, clapping, weeping, music, choirs, etc. Worship is the fragrance of Christ ascending from the shrine of the redeemed human spirit. Whenever worship is understood on any other terms it becomes unacceptable to God, being merely of human origin.
We must closely scrutinize the entire move of so-called worship that is sweeping through the church. Everything that is of the creature and not the fragrance of Christ is destined to be rejected of God - doomed to destruction. Yet most folks, including leadership, are inordinately attached to the manmade, music-oriented worship that is sweeping across the church. Many use music as a means to attract people. How telling! How tragic that we have fallen into such childlike thinking.
Moreover, man has cheaply imitated what belongs exclusively to Christ in regard to leadership and government in the church! The entire system has fallen from God's thought into one mess of manmade power structures and kingdom building visions of grandeur, all of course cloaked in "doing it for God's glory." Even among so-called outcomer groups where the external names for these manmade power structures and protocol have been removed, lurking within, in a covert way, the very leaven of these structure yet functions! There are no hierarchies or power structures in the thought of God in the church. Nowhere on earth is there a central government of the church where Jesus sits as Lord, Master and Head. Our government is in the heavens.
To Christ alone belong power, allegiance, praise and authority. Men do not have authority over anyone. One of the enemy's most subtle strategies has been to rob the body of its feature of being a living organism, united to the living Head, with fellowship between all its members, and make it conform to a church structure and organization bound by men, rules and a manmade, centralized "spiritual government." This provides just what it takes to usurp the place of Christ as the one to whom the saints must gather and instead to make men, pastors, elders, church programs, etc. the central focus of the Lord's people. Beloved, such things do not come from Him who called us into fellowship with His Son. Rather, "an enemy has done this." ( Mt. 13:28; top )
When Christ is free to express His life in the forms of leadership, shepherding, prophetic utterance, etc. through members of His church, there is a purity that cannot be denied! There is no longer a need for any official organization, any official leadership or person or group of people controlling the fellowship. When pure, Christlike leadership is in operation, men do not claim ownership of any particular group of saints. Men have their hands altogether off the flock and off the work of God. They do not elevate themselves over the flock but become simply a member, a brother, a sister, in love serving their family in Christ!
The Lord's word to leadership is a hard word that will challenge very deeply all who are called of God to lead in any capacity. Simply speaking, God is telling them to let go of the flock entirely, let go of the title and protocol of being looked up to, forsake the mentality of having ownership of any of God's people. God's flock is not your flock! God's thought is not for you to build a church. Jesus alone is building His church. Don't compete with Jesus! Just be what you are in Christ among the flock and don't use your gift as a means to gather people under you. Let the flock go!
Leadership must be freed from the idea of a centralized power structure to which all the saints are subject. Men must stop trying to make the body, which is a living organism, into an organization run by men! Ego inflated, uncrucified leaders need to step down, get off their high horses and stop perverting the body of Christ by their self-appointed attempts to lead; else God will knock them down! Every single minister must die to all his vain aspirations of becoming something by building a church and come before God in brokenness, asking for forgiveness. Every leader must return to simple fellowship with other believers with no drive to become an owner or lord over any group. Just be what you are in Christ in the midst of the saints without presiding over any manmade structures. Just reduce church life to fellowship with, and submission to one another, with the intent to bring a greater measure of what is of Christ into living expression by the power of the Holy Spirit. All members of the body of Christ must learn to fellowship and function together with Jesus as the only head, each filled with His glorious life, with no one person or persons governing men or trying to control. All members of the body are equal, brothers and sisters in Christ, in fellowship with the Son, walking in His light and in love, fellowshipping with one another.
To sum up, I say that manmade church structures along with the manmade imitation of leadership in the church is destined to be destroyed by God! Let all men who have been called by God, prepared by God, trained by God and discipled by God forever forsake the temptation to gather any saints around themselves. Rather, let all simply fellowship with the church as brothers together with all other believers. Let the gifts of God be free to flow everywhere there is a gathering of saints without creating a manmade church structure where men begin to rule instead of Christ. May God shake us from all outward forms and religion which are not directly flowing from the life of the glorious Son of God! Now is the time for all to forsake that which is of man and, casting out the spirit of human potential, gather together around one and only one - Christ Jesus our Lord!
I'd love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!