In resent times, I have noticed a cooling off
of the power in the Church worldwide. I do not mean that there are no
more activates (if any thing, the activities in the Churches have
multiplied), it is a reduction in the quality within the glory base of
the church. It is difficult to explain, but I will try. I am referring
to the innate sparkle within the Church; those intricate things that are
there, they cannot be explained but they greatly influence the
effectiveness of what we do.
It could be explained away that this is just
because we are at a “valley bottom” period; I am not convinced so.
Some years back, starting late 1998, a
particular trend of visions was circulating in the Churches all over the
world which involve signs of people in the Church falling asleep. Some
prophets worldwide prophesied warnings that the Church was falling
asleep. I for a person saw visions of vast underground caves full of
people as far as the eye could see; all asleep or trying very hard to
stay awake. This was also a period where many ministers were receiving
messages which involve believers loosing their identity.
At about the same time, particularly by the 3rd
or 4th month of 1999, many people; prophets, ministers and
church people alike, were seeing visions of dense clouds of darkness
sweeping over the church. Some, in the visions, saw people who were in
the church begin to drift out of the church like people under a spell or
mesmerized. I saw visions of people lying on their backs all over the
streets in the dead of night under spells or corpses of people who had
been hacked down, lying thick all over the streets in pitch darkness.
For a little reality check, let us examine the
events of the time in question.
1998 was a glorious year for the global
church. The spiritual environment was rich and lively. You only need to
sample musical (gospel) tapes made that year and before to appreciate
this. But once you step into 1999 there is an all round change in the
spirit of all; music and message. There is a veering off that find
striking. 1999 was also a period of social change all over. There was
what I call the ‘Face lift’ mood in the air; every one wanted to dress
different, organizations were gripped in a frantic move to change
company image, every body wanted to do something different or new,
dogmatic resistances to change were broken overnight; there was the
“hype” drive to every thing.
I believe much of the church have been swept
away in a “spirit of the age”; a spiritual period of rapid demonic
activity. That will explain the clouds of darkness seen in the visions.
Rev. 9: 1 – 3:
“1 And the fifth angel sounded [his]
trumpet: and I saw a star out of the heaven fallen to the earth; and
there was given to it the key of the pit of the abyss.
2 And it opened the pit of the abyss; and
there went up smoke out of the pit as [the] smoke of a great furnace;
and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit.
3 And out of the smoke came forth locusts
on the earth, and power was given to them as the scorpions of the earth
The Bible admonishes us not to sleep;
1Th. 5: 3-8:
“3 For when they shall say, Peace and
safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child; and
they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness,
that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the
children of the day: we are not of the night,
nor of darkness.
6 ¶ Therefore let us not sleep, as do
others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night;
and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love;
and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”
John. 11: 9b-10
“If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth
not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he
stumbleth, because there is no light in him.”
“4 I must work the works of him that sent
me, while it is day: the night cometh, when
no man can work.”
I believe what is happening is an
institutionalization of faith. What I mean is that the church is going
through the motions of “faith” but is not scratching beyond the surface.
When a person sleeps, he/she dreams. The dreams are stored in the memory
like real life events, but they never really happened; they are fake
memories. I think we are having a lot of activities in the church but we
are not quite treading water (spiritually speaking). We are operating in
some elusion of “faith”; that means false religion or dead religion.
Religion is the “church” being preoccupied
with herself and her traditions or rules. Faith is centered around God.
Religion is man trying to live up to what he “sees” as the standard of
God’s righteousness or perfection, faith is letting God have His way so
as to be perfect for His purpose.
Rom. 8:1 – 8
“1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law
of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it
was weak through the flesh, God sending
his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might
be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind
the things of the flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but
to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against
God: for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot
There is a difference between wanting to
live and being committed to a lifestyle of life. You could want to stay
alive and yet eat junk, drink, smoke, take drugs, drive fast, mix with
the wrong people, be a stunts man and all other forms of dangerous
living. It is much easier to be a football fan than to be a footballer;
likewise, it is easier to be a Christian and profess a Christian faith
than to live a lifestyle of faith. I believe we are more committed to
being Christians than we are to God; more committed to the culture of
Christianity than to the God of Christianity. That way, we can appear to
obey God while, all the time, pursuing our self centered interests. I
believe the wane of the glory in the church is testimony to that. We
refuse to realize that, even if we refuse to see our own intentions, God
is not so blind as not to see through our self deception.
2Th. 2: 10b-12:
“because they received not the love of the
truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them
strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who
believed not the truth, but had pleasure
Consider Islam: except for the same “hyping”
influence of recent times, Islam is widely regarded as the most sterile
spiritual ground by Christians worldwide. It lends little room for
creativity, and is dogmatic and uninspiring by nature. Islam is only
sustained by a intrinsic foundation of fanatism (zeal for a narrow
minded knowledge contrary to evidence, despising broad truth – lacking
understanding) that stated it in the first place. But on the level,
Islam has a more appealing philosophy than Christianity; compared to
Islam, or any other philosophy type for that matter, Christianity is
But unlike Islam, or any other religious
philosophy (except maybe Judaism), Christianity has an immense ability
to recreate itself without loosing the framework of its foundation
principles. It is also ripe as a centre of creativity and rejuvenation.
This has nothing to do with its philosophy; it has every thing to do
with its God. As soon as we get back in touch with our God, we thrive;
as soon as we wrap ourselves around church and church philosophy, the
Christian world slide back into the background. Whenever Christian
philosophy has taken precedence over Christian spirituality, the Church
had suffered in darkness.
Why is it that when prophecy comes forth out
of the Church, we translate it through the philosophy of past
generations? Have we lost confidence in the God who raised prophets in
the past without a Church to interpret their visions? Why do we always
want to get a handle on God rather than let God handle us?
I have had opportunity to see the damage
philosophy can have; philosophy that is harmless or even beneficial in a
business can become a hot bed for demonic strongholds in the church. If
we refuse to acknowledge it, the devil will not fail to see an
opportunity to warp our faith (thus, disconnecting us from our God);
philosophy has an uncanny way of replacing God in our hearts by
dedicating us to something other than what God wants of us.
The appeal of philosophy is in its potential
in social control. If you can sell me your philosophy, I will live my
life to satisfy your standards.
Gal. 6: 12-13
“12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in
the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should
suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are
circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they
may glory in your flesh.”
By buying your philosophy, I am
consecrating myself to your standards of holiness! I would be doing
what I do because it is only “right” to do them, not because I am
devoted to God. Faith is saying “By all I know, this may not be the
thing to do. But since you commanded it, I will go along anyway.”
The glory of the Church comes from God. The
more we are attached to our God, the more He will exibit His glory to,
through and around us. The further we are strayed from Him, the less of
the “light of His presence” we would see upon and around us. Let us
return to our God with honest hearts so that His “Joy” may return to us.
May God show us His way. Amen.