On July 22nd, 2016, while reflecting on the civil unrest brewing throughout the streets of many American cities God pushed me to not just consider what was taking place, but the “why” behind it. My first thought was many of the protests are a national outcry against overtly observable injustices. From there, my attention was redirected to the American Civil War, also referred to as the War Between the States.
During this time, America’s unified and indivisible roots, deeply grounded during the Revolutionary War had weakened. Centuries after successfully defeating Britain’s oppressive rule and policies, the individual states were now beginning to confront vastly different economic changes and political views.
A catalyst for the Civil War was slavery. The wealth of the south was largely driven by the agricultural industry, which was supported by slaves. The economy of the southern (slave) states thrived on this, so naturally, they wanted to secure and expand this concept into other US regions. The northern (free) states were heavily industrialized and mostly abolitionists, unsupporting of slavery. The free states’ moral stance prompted them to become more determined to limit the expansion of slavery into new territories.
Before republican presidential candidate and antislavery advocate, Abraham Lincoln won his seat at the presidency, talks of secession were made by many southern states. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president and between 1860-61 a total of 11 states withdrew their allegiance from the United States, forming their own independent nation within a nation known as The Confederate States of America.
From 1861-65 grueling battles took place for freedom, as both the Union and the Confederacy fought for what they believed to be right. Ultimately, the Union won and the United States remained one nation, slavery was defeated, and freedom was declared for all. America then began a recovery and restoration period known as the Reconstruction Era, which lasted until 1877.
Following my initial thoughts on this, God redirected my attention back to present day divisions in America in contrast to those yet to occur in the church. In the same way, escalating factions lead to America’s internal war, increasingly distinguishable differences in the church, between the religion of man and the kingdom of God, will cause more pronounced internal unrest in the days ahead.
All divisions aren’t and below are a few biblical examples that substantiate this:
- God told Abraham to leave his native land and his family. Abraham did this, with the exception of his nephew Lot, however, they eventually parted ways (Genesis 12:1, Genesis 13:9).
- Marriage separates and brings together. It’s the very reason a man is to leave his parents and be joined to his wife (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7-8, Ephesians 5:31).
- The Holy Spirit divides! He orchestrated the separation of Paul and Barnabas, so they could complete their God-given assignment. (Acts 13:2)
- Jesus Christ warned His followers of the unavoidable divisions that would be made within households because of Him. (Matthew 10:35, Luke 12:53).
With this truth established, understand there is a burgeoning division, a sharpening definition, and a clearer distinction appearing between the kingdom of God and the traditionalism of religion that’s been parading around the church for ages.
But, many are becoming increasingly unsettled with this, they desire more, are unsatisfied with the routine of “religion,” and often frustrated with the rigid reception towards an authentic move of the Holy Spirit. Many are being to experience the joy of His salvation again and an urgency for the freshness of God is being aroused in us! Many strong leaders and ministries are emerging preaching, demonstrating, and living what Christ established while here on earth – the Kingdom of God.
With this, I was reminded of something God spoke to me in 2015 concerning coming divisions in the church. During the time, I was thinking about the Parable of the Wheat and the Tare, when I heard “the tare will separate itself.” Much of the coming division that we’ll witness will be the tare pulling itself away from the wheat, or the “religious church” from the “kingdom church”
(See more via “What’s Next?” in the Visitation).
- As our God continues to accelerate His Body [the church] forward, you can most likely count those that are left behind among the tare.
- A strong divide between the carnal church and the Spirit led church is like a looming elephant in the room. Count those caught up in emotionalism, ruled by their bodies and led by their souls among the tare.
- When you see men question the truth of God and exchange it for a lie, you can unequivocally count them among the tare.
Several weeks ago, I wrote Repentance: The Basis for Spiritual Awakening launching from a scripture in Jeremiah 18. As God gave me present day insight from the text, that I publicly disclosed in that post there were things I didn’t mention because it wasn’t yet time. Jeremiah endured heavy persecution because he was committed and resolute in his service to God.
Many of you, that are committed to following God in whatever assignment He’s given you will experience similar conflicts from among the brethren. You will be persecuted and openly opposed by the “religious church”.
- Endure Hardships – Christ overcame so that you could too, therefore endure the adversity as a faithful soldier in God’s army (2 Timothy 2:3).
- Stick With Your Assignment – Avoid getting caught up in civilian affairs or matters that don’t directly pertain to what God’s called you to do (2 Timothy 2:4).
- Pray for the Tare – Pray for those who persecute you and always respond from a place of mercy (Matthew 5:44, Matthew 18:21-35).
The traditional religious church is operating illegally…
Still, this isn’t a call for us to war with one another, but rather a notice to be aware. Just as the United States couldn’t allow the illegitimate Confederate States of America to change the design of the entire nation, the body of Christ can no longer allow tradition [religion] to nullify God’s plan.
I believe the coming separations are a necessary part of God’s reformation plan, because Christianity has moved so far away from His intended design. The separation allows those that will resist what God is doing to get out of the way. Now while I still hope for them, if they are temporarily displaced for the greater good so be it, but I also pray they don’t lag too far behind and that their hearts would be made willing to change…
In the meantime, prepare yourself! Prepare your heart! Prepare your mind! Follow God, no matter how uncomfortable you get and forever love His people, especially those that oppose you!
Please read The Suicide of the Church Trilogy for examples on man inspired vs God inspired divisions and appropriate biblical responses!