Leaders in the Body
The True Church
God's End-time Operations
The Signature of the Anti-Christ
Leaders in the Body
The True Church
God's End-time Operations
The Signature of the Anti-Christ
The Signature of the Anti-Christ
By Bola Olu-Jordan
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2Pet. 2:1-3).
However, they will be popular, accepted, celebrated and command religious respect. Many will call them ‘servants of God’, Peter described them as “false teachers”, “wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.” (2Pet. 2:17). They amuse with ‘great swelling words of vanity’, using the desires of the flesh to entice people, “promising them freedom whereas, they themselves are slaves of corruption.” (2Pet. 2:18-19).
They are men of the people. They zealously affect their audience with affection and passion (Gal. 4:17-18). Paul defined them as unruly, vain talkers and deceivers (Titus 1:10). They speak conditional truth relative to membership, as the people were not trained to endure sound doctrine. Jesus said it is better they were not born or that millstones were hung around their necks and they were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matt. 18:6). Believers must pray not to fall into their trap because their numbers are increasing daily with acceptable credentials. Recognizing them is a great challenge, hence, the warning. Jesus said if it were possible they would deceive the very elect and except the days were shortened, no flesh would be saved (Matt. 24:22,24). It is almost impossible to know a false prophet except by the Spirit of God (2Cor. 11:14).
Two things a church or ministry should never be established upon are gifts and doctrines. But sadly, these are the foundations of many pastor-founders, prophets or churches. They are birthed in rebellion and so they desperately need something to justify their new profession. Many use divinations, visions, dreams, prophecy and other strange practices to assume the title of a prophet. They tarry at strange mountains to receive powers to combat spiritual problems of people. Others are more refined and use charisma, eloquence and other sophisticated methods to captivate the souls of their victims for a bigger title. They are in Zion, but do the practices of Sinai.
Either way, their goal is to draw followers to themselves and to introduce harmless doctrines, teachings, laws and so on, peculiar only to their movement or organization without any apostolic foundation. While the prophet becomes a problem solver for solution seekers, others champion a movement of psychedelic worshippers with questionable practices in the name of freedom in Christ. That is all the anti-Christ needed to operate successfully in the last days.
However, God says in the last days, He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, old men shall dream dreams and young men shall see visions (Joel 2:28). Paul in 1Cor. 14:1 encouraged believers to desire spiritual gifts, but rather that they prophesy. If these gifts make a prophet, then, everyone is a prophet as the gifts are for all believers in the last days. Gifts [of prophecy or visions] do not make one a prophet or a leader. It should neither be the basis for a church, nor the reason for a call. The danger is that when God or the Holy Spirit departs from such, the gifts can still operate effectively with results (Rom. 11:29).
Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18). These gifts are for all believers. It is dangerous to personalize or build a ministry around it. It is true that some have better consciousness, skills and usage than others, but it is for the edification of the whole body, not to begin a ministry, church or build a world around it.
All the disciples had gifts and none of them started a ‘church’ or ‘ministry’ other than the same body they ministered as Apostles. The same [one] body spread to many localities with no head, denominational name or founder other than Christ. A church built or founded on gifts is not the church of Jesus. Jesus built His church on the revelation of the truth (Matt. 16:16), not gifts or doctrines. This is heresy and the doctrine of the devil.
Leaders in the Body
So, when Peter warned that false teachers would secretly bring in destructive teachings to the church in the last days, he was emphasizing the deceit and distinction between the Old and New Testament leadership.
Israel operated an instituted priesthood, headed by the high priests, but God never entrusted His workings into their hands. He rather used prophets to provide direction and leadership in more or less an itinerant way, as they were not part of the priesthood. That was why between the books of Malachi and Matthew, a space of about four hundred years, it was said that God did not speak to Israel because there was no prophet, yet there were priests.
However, in the New Testament, the priesthood is fulfilled in us, in Christ through body ministry. We are all priests and Jesus is our High Priest (Heb. 4:14). There is no longer an instituted priesthood to consult or any rituals, ceremonial rites or sacrifices to perform to get to God. The veil that divided the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was torn at Christ’s death (Matt. 27:51). We can now freely and boldly come into the Holy of Holies without fear or hindrance (Heb. 4:6). Worship is no longer the exclusive calling of the Levites or priests, but all. We are to share the life of Christ in fellowship and body ministry like the early church, yet recognizing those whom God has called to lead in that process for the purpose of order and their calling (1Thess. 5:12-13).
Since the priesthood has ‘expired’, its continuous practice today negates the ideal of the new covenant (testament) which was instituted because the old was faulty and a shadow of the real and better one. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” (Heb. 8:6).
Unfortunately, some still practice the priesthood and we recognize them so. It is like living in Canaan, but still doing the practices of Egypt. The one-man leadership style of the organized church, popular today, is a carry-over of the papacy and negates the early church pattern of plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). It encourages ownership, rulership and chiefdom and not fellowship (Heb. 2:11).
The priesthood is now fulfilled in us. The operations of the Old Testament priests and prophets are now fulfilled in the church. Prophets are no longer seers, mediums, visioners, dreamers and so on, standing outside the priesthood and consulting for individuals, kings, nations and so on at God’s instance, but now in the church. God is now dealing with the church, the bride of Christ. The Shekinah now lives in our hearts, no longer in the ark. We are now a “royal priesthood” and “peculiar people.” (1Pet. 2:9). We all minister directly to Him in fellowship as brethren, not as clergy-laity, yet, recognizing those called into the five-fold ministry among whom are prophets.
Prophets, particularly, provide greater leadership and direction by virtue of their calling (standing). Their position in the church gives the picture of someone standing on a watchtower in the camp to watch for enemies, wolves or provide direction for others below. He thus becomes an oracle by virtue of his standing (calling), not his gifts. He sees more than all: the tracks of the enemy, the right path with supernatural insight and can advice appropriately. He hollers or raises alarm as a whistleblower when he foresees danger. He holds the compass or the map and can determine if they are on course or lost. He can, therefore fore-tell, fore-see and forth-tell the mysteries of the kingdom in words, with emphasis on what God is doing ‘in His church’ (Acts 15:32). These are New Testament prophets and they are rare today.
However, there are still others who teach laws/doctrines (Teachers), shepherd the people (Pastors), look for the lost (Evangelists) and so forth in the five-fold ministry sense among the people. The prophets are key to the direction of the church and can sincerely lead the church astray due to their vision or lack of vision (Prov. 29:18).
Because of the rarity of the New Testament prophets in the church in the last days, many will arrogate the title to themselves and function in the expired Old Testament order. They use visions, dreams, prophecy and so on to justify their title. They consult for people and retail solutions to problems. Some even have churches, mountains and or a location near the stream where they operate. They employ strange practices and use strange language or objects for ‘rituals’ to bring result. They are Old Testament (expired) prophets - seers, never to be confused with the prophet in the five-fold ministry of the church of Jesus. This is the reason why it appears as if the church lacks direction.
Many soul hunters and agents of the anti-Christ have also taken the advantage to operate in this order, bringing strange doctrines and deceiving many. If there were true prophet in the church, they would recognize, identify and blow the whistle, but where are the true prophets? They are the rare and their message is too hot to handle for the pastorate councils. They are lone criers, people with spiritual integrity, whose words command awe in the body, among the leaders and even among the Gentiles. While others preach peace and safety, they cry destruction because that is what they see and hear. They declare the mind of God anyway, regardless of whose ox is gored.
These prophets are not recognized because Seers have taken over and consult for the people. With special prophetic and anointing programs, they change people’s destiny, break their curses and prophesy prosperity, breakthrough and blessing to the lives of those living in sin. They are, in turn, gratified by their testimonies and material thanksgiving.
They and other leaders are in a romance with political leaders because of power, and for the sake of religious unity and invitational honorarium. They become role models of prosperity, wealth, fame and affluence for undiscerning Christians who think that is what Christianity is truly all about. This fans their desire to be in ministry, not knowing that spiritual leadership is by calling, not desire. We can desire gifts, but not calling (1Cor. 14:1; Heb. 5:4).
No wonder the church seems to have lost direction, everyone does what is right in his sight and there is no voice of God to cry out. Those standing on the watchtower are hirelings and businessmen: empire builders and money launderers who are obsessed with fame and fortune. They were in the temple at the time of Jesus; they are still present today.
We must recognize our calling and recognize others’ too, so we do not follow a disillusioned Evangelist functioning as a Pastor because he loves the [profitable] office. “Let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” (1Cor. 7:24). Paul and Peter were sent to the Gentiles and Jews respectively, but they both ran in the wrong direction, successfully. God didn’t change their calling to what they already succeeded in, until they changed appropriately. The ‘success’ is according to man’s assessment, not God’s. If you are called, make sure you are not running another man’s race or on another man’s track. Any achievement made running on another man’s track is a nullity. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2Pet. 1:10).
Aside from lacking divine direction, sight, hearing and understanding of the operation of God, these people use denomination to peddle extra-biblical facts and foment exclusive doctrines to keep their captives religious, but never spiritual. That is what man wants by default, anyway, not God, really.
Unlike others, some are actually called by God, but ignorantly run to Eli. They are then made to become apprentices of their master’s calling. They are not sent back to God to hear what God wants them to do, like Eli did to young Samuel. They become successful in another man’s calling, while theirs is empty. After a while, they get ‘freedom’ through rebellion to build their own empire, parallel to God’s calling in their lives and begin to use managerial or leadership skills for spiritual assignments. Such is not of God, let alone with ambition.
Moses could have encamped Israel in the wilderness instead of leading them on. He could have given them a Mosaic name and built an empire or institution after himself like many do today with the people God given them to test them. When God, in anger, wanted to destroy Israel and raise a new nation through him, Moses rejected it. This is an offer many will humbly jump at, christening their religious empires personal names. It is dangerous to contend with Christ on the ownership of His church, bought with His own blood (1Cor. 3:4-7).
Pilgrims must be careful not to settle down in the camp of sincere leaders never called by God. Everything they do may be good but not of God. They are runners without a message; unsent messengers; un-commissioned soldiers; unregistered athletes, though possessing great skill, but unlisted. The work of God is not by interest or skill but by calling. God is a God of principle and He will not lower His standard because of man’s ignorance or ability.
Many baby pastors appointed through the generosity of the overseers and leaders become stooges and the pen the anti-Christ uses to write satanic verses. They were never proven by God; they were ordained through the recommendation of men, with the mandate to proliferate. They can deliver brilliant, well-researched messages that people desire and will meet the needs of the people without hearing from God, but while the hand is of Esau, the voice is of Jacob.
If you have no resolute conviction of God’s call in your life, testified to by a multitude of witnesses, but you are appointed by man, to do God’s work, pastor God’s people, or co-opted to do something for God, you are already a tool in the hands of the anti-Christ. “No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb. 5:4).
It is true that many do this in ignorance, but they enjoy the position, title and other benefits anyway. They are working for the grand master who has the grand design to secretly deceive and make merchandise of believers through them. Many use oratory and irresistible eloquence and the Bible as a reference to make-up and buttress their philosophy. While their judgment is settled, they will deceive and lead many indolent believers astray through subtle, harmless and commonsensical messages, full of enticing words of man's wisdom, but lack the demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1Cor. 2:4). If Adam and Eve were deceived, no one is immune, because these so called pastors and leaders have the anointing of their forefather, the serpent.
This set of people will be shocked to know that in heaven, all their efforts only qualify them as ‘workers of iniquity’. They may contend this heavenly title and say, “But Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” But Jesus will be emphatic: “… I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:22-23). Their work is iniquity because it did not come from God, so it cannot return to God. How tragic to be under such ‘anointing’ - unsuspectingly.
There is a massive invasion of these people in the last days with the resultant effect of several churches in every corner and founders ‘doing something’ for God. Only the remnant would escape their mastery and that too, by the whiskers of God’s grace and mercies, otherwise, no flesh would be saved. Because their iniquities (messages) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Only those who endure to the end shall be saved (Mat. 24:12). The word ‘abound’ mean popular, to thrive, to proliferate or to flourish.
The True Church
The Laodecian church is thriving under these anomalies and we rejoice, calling it church growth. There are truly great and workable methods in growing and sustaining membership. These include setting targets for branches, anointing prodigals as elders, aggressive visitations and so on. But remember, whatever you use to lure them in is what you will use to keep them on otherwise, you lose them.
Many ‘church services’ give a sense of worship and promote membership, not fellowship. Fellowship occurs when those whom God adds to the church gather in worship, not those who come by special invitation for anointing services. Nowhere in the Bible did God abdicate the growth of His church, bought at a very great price of the blood of His only Son to man’s effort. Jesus is unequivocal in His statement, “I will build my church.” (Mk. 16:18). People were certainly added to the early church, but not by these means. “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47; 5:14). The church is the assembly of the saved, not the gathering of religious people.
An average Christian might rejoice seeing ‘churches’ springing up on every corner. But a true believer who knows the true meaning of Church would weep, knowing that Christianity is never the idea of God, but ingenious devices of men to institutionalise Christ. God gave us Jesus; people gave us Christianity. If we think that all we see around us every Sunday is really church, we must think again because God is not as cheap and common as that. He cannot be appeased with dancing to demonic songs that have sadly passed for our praise and worship tests and display of emotions called worship. It is far deeper than that and only He can give us revelation after we seek Him with all our hearts (Jer. 29:13; John 4:24).
When the temple of Jerusalem was re-built, the youth rejoiced with a loud voice, but the old men and the wise wept bitterly (Ezra. 3:12). It was the temple without the glory, like the Holy of Holies without the Ark of the Covenant; the church without Jesus.
But where are the ‘old men’ who truly met the Lord? All we see around is the exuberance of babies on the altar, in need of milk, overtly and perversely consumed and driven by sinister ambition for fame, popularity and financial prowess. To them, a minister is made up of ‘packaging’: ability to attract, maintain, motivate, animate and incise the souls of gullible people with eloquent oration, poetic rhymes and literary finesse. Display of material wealth as example of what God would do for them, exclusive doctrines, a network of branches, international praise teams and so forth. Where are the prophets in the body? Is there no voice of reproof or rebuke? Whose sons are these? Which ‘father-in-the-Lord’ receives their tithes?
The true church of Jesus still exists till today. We must go before the Lord to show us where and what His church really is. It cannot be seen, joined or begun, but expressed in fellowship with brethren, regardless of whether in a house, tunnel or under the tree (early church pattern). It weathered the woes of the Dark Ages and the wiles of her greatest enemy, the Christian leaders, who tried to exterminate her as they did Jesus. The imposition of Catholicism, whose doctrines and style are here with us, is no match for Jesus’ resolve to build His church; it only hides it to preserve it like a treasure. The church of the living God is alive, preserved by the power of the Spirit. It however, may not be found on the street, like all treasures! The true church is spiritual in nature, expressed in fellowship, preserved in glory.
The centres, ministries, empires and institutions we see around are not the church, the people are. When they meet in fellowship, God sees the body of Christ. Are you a part? Denomination is the work of man; fellowship with brethren is the work of God. Activities may be mistaken for ministry, but that is not what Christ came for, and not what He is coming for. Jesus is coming for His Body, period.
The ability of man is the greatest offence to the operations of God and man has tremendous ability to do so well what should not have been done at all. Man can build a mega church without God; work miracles with mighty testimonies with the name of Jesus, yet, without Jesus’ knowledge; offer God great sacrifices of worship and praise in a spiritually soaked atmosphere without even an angel present. Man can operate a super religious empire, organization and ministry with functional educational, social or humanitarian activity without being sent. Man can build a tower that reaches to heaven with tremendous success and attract God and heaven, not knowing that he is coveting the fury of God.
God’s End-time Operation
God is pulling down structures, organizations and religious caricatures that men have built to replace His church and He is raising remnants in the image of His Son. Sons, not children “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14-15). Will you be an Uzzah to prevent Him from having His way or allow God to break you and mould you according to His pattern?
God is calling the elects out of denominations and organizations of men, to faith in Christ and fellowship with brethren. He says come out of her and be separate (Rev.18:4).
Certainly man has built an interesting religious structure that has endured millennia, but the test of being a remnant is the ability to follow the narrow, unpopular way and enter by the strait gate, rather than enjoy the pleasure and fanfare of instituted religious tradition which is truly a wonderful experience. The simplicity of Christianity is the obedience to follow Jesus. At the end, no ministry or denomination or ‘church’ will make heaven. Heaven is for individuals, who, together, make up the body of Christ – the church of the living God.
The Signature of the Anti-Christ
It is important to close this message by challenging readers to anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they may see these things with the mind of Christ. Strange handwritings, beliefs and traditions, foreign to the early church are being celebrated. Remember, if you marry Satan’s child, he has automatically become your father-in-law. Any romance with them makes you a partner-in-crime with the anti-Christ. It takes anointed eyes to see that this is nothing but the signature of the anti-Christ.
1. Motivational Speakers/Messages. This is a terrible ill that has befallen Christendom: the proliferation and acceptance of motivational speakers on the pulpit as Gospel preachers. Stand-up comedians and other fun-givers are now being paid to desecrate the altars and provide fun for perishing souls. Motivational messages are good, but have their own place. It should never to be equated, substituted or submitted as the Gospel. It is psyching up the mind - soul (Greek - psuche) of the simple with good words and fair speeches in order to deceive (Rom. 16:8). Quotable quotes, rhymes, psychedelic words, fables to impress the souls are not the instrument of the Holy Spirit, they are soulish. The things of the Spirit are spirit. We must receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls (Jas. 1:21). Motivational speakers are not Gospel preachers, (so also are the messages), regardless of having a church, pulpit, followers or using the Bible. You know them by their message. Be warned!
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches” (Rev 2:17).