A Prophetic Witness to the Church Today
* * *
A Meaningful Dream From
On the 4th January 1996, I received an arresting dream. In
this dream, God portrayed in symbolism the greatest abuse in the Church.
What I saw was a building with a great big pyramidal roof. It was pointed and steep,
like the pyramids of Egypt. This huge roof contained many little windows, each with its
own similar little roof over it. They were like tiny turrets, angular and steep, also
terminating in sharp points.
The whole thing was really quite bizarre!
The building itself was also far from ideal. It needed altering.
I consulted with the Designer about what we should do. The little
dormer windows (a dormer window is an upright projecting window in a sloping roof) with
their pointed triangular turrets were silly and impractical. They let so little light
inside. What was needed were bigger dormers, with bigger windows to let more light in. It
was agreed that the roofs over them did not need to be these ostentatious looking turrets.
Flat roofs were quite adequate.
Then the scene switched to the living room. We were inside. I was
looking at the outside wall and discussing with the Architect or Surveyor what would be
best here. I thought two big windows in the side wall would be good. He accepted my
suggestion, although one really big one would have been fine.
He pointed out that the neighbours would see in through the big new
windows, but that is to be expected.
Interpreting the Vision
The Church is the building in the dream. Over it, she has a protective
structure, a roof. But the roof she has constructed is a monstrous dominating edifice.
Built to try and protect those beneath its canopy, it has lost contact with spiritual
reality and has become an edifice of domination and ostentation.
The Church's little offshoots have not really separated themselves from
the big mother Church. They have merely followed her example, but on a smaller scale. They
have built their own small dormer windows more to look out than to let light in
but they have erected similar pyramidal edifices over themselves.
What is this pyramid?
It is the government of man in the Church! Church hierarchy.
Elitist domination. Authoritarian control. Centralised spiritual management.
Call it what you will, it is the same as it has always been the
greatest single evil in the Church of God! We got it from Babylon the Great, the mother of
prostitutes (Rev 17:5) who rules over her subjects, profaning God's Word.
The Church is like a big hierarchic structure with lots of little
hierarchic windows all over it, letting in a limited amount of light. To those outside, it
looks a hideous monstrosity, totally impractical and far from aesthetic!
Those beneath its canopy cannot see how grotesque it is. They are kept
in the gloom, unaware of the dimness in which they are living. The eyes grow accustomed to
diminishing light intensity.
Ostensibly, church leadership dominates to protect. Its motive is to preserve the
stability of its structure, and the spiritual environment within its walls. But leaders
fail to perceive that by humanly regulating, they are dominating. They are actually
oppressing. The Bible has much to say about spiritual oppression! And it is not laudable!
By protecting their community from
adverse influences, church leaders are keeping out a lot of the light. Most of them don't
see what they are doing. They blindly follow the tradition that has been set by the mother
Church. They don't know any better. They are asleep to its dangers.
But now is the time to awake!
Headship in the Church
Isaiah prophesied of the Church in these
last days (Is 52). Depicted in type by Zion, the city of God, Isaiah wrote of her
captivity (v 2) under the control of unscrupulous men who have entered her by stealth (v
1). Spiritually, they are foreigners. But they have oppressed God's own, just as Egypt and
Assyria oppressed Israel (v 4).
Their rulers blaspheme each day (v 5). How? By illicitly assuming
spiritual headship over the Church. Jesus is the only Head of His Church (Col 1:18; Eph
Isaiah was not alone in his prophetic condemnation of these spiritual
impostors. Jesus warned us of those who would gain entrance their own way, who would not
submit to Christ's rule (Jn 10:1). Paul called them savage wolves (Acts 20:29),
"deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ" (2 Cor 11:13). Peter
identified them as "false teachers... denying the Lord who bought them" (2 Pet
In their greed, these teachers will exploit you (2 Pet 2:3).
And that is what has happened in the Church! Naïve people have been
exploited by those who have set themselves up over them, claiming they have the right to rule
over the Church.
They have no such right.*
Leadership is given for spiritual guidance and protection, not for
spiritual domination. Very subtly, however, church leaders usurp Jesus' office,
supplanting it with that of their own dominion.
Ironically, most Christians tolerate it. They don't see its perils.
Many even like it! (Jer 5:31.) But subservience to human rule in the Church will
reduce them to spiritual mediocrity like the gloom inside a building with tiny
windows in its towering roof.
True authority in the Church is derived from subservient submission to
the Spirit. It has nothing to do with autocratic achievement, human ability or mortal
There is no valid hierarchic form of spiritual administration in the
Church, other than the rule of Jesus from God's throne. One man is not over another in a
humanly appointed 'pecking order'. One man (or woman) may have spiritual authority as God
dictates, according to the moving of His Spirit, to help any other member of the body. But
it is not authoritarian, autocratic or oppressive. Authoritative words of God arise from
the wellspring of the heart, as one is moved by the love of God.
The Church has been offered the tools for its edification. Its failure
is in recognising them, accepting them and, Christ's love through them.
It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for
works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in
the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God... (Eph 4:11-13).
Have we reached unity in the faith? No. We see a divided Church, with
lots of little dormer windows with their own turret roofs projecting out of the grotesque
mother structure. Each offers its own window on the truth, but each has so much need of
You won't argue that pastors and teachers, and possibly even
evangelists, are present in the Church. But what about apostles? What about prophets? They
are there too! Otherwise, Jesus would be failing His own words. They are there to build up
and restructure the Church. The question is: Will the Church listen to them?
What is to Come
The outside wall of the Church is to be
opened up. Two big windows are to be fitted into this wall to let light inside.
Are these two windows two big concurrent moves of the Spirit by which
light will penetrate? Do they represent two major truths which the majority in the Church
have not possessed up to now? Or are they two major sectors in Christendom? Only God
knows, at present. He has not revealed everything at this moment. He reveals His purpose
in stages, at appropriate times.
What will occur will cause a great deal of light to penetrate the
Church, and enable others outside to see inside it. The world will take notice!
If the Church is to move forward it must let go of the Babylonian
traditions of her past. It must relinquish subservience to men. It must open up to the
light of the truth.
You are part of the Church. Do you want more light? Ignore élitist
hierarchy! It is a relic from Babylon. It is hideously ugly and stultifying. Fight
repression so real light can come in.
Malcolm B Heap
HIERARCHIC CHURCH GOVERNMENT
Satan is in the Church!
That statement, to many people, will come as a big shock! To other
Christians, however, it will be no surprise.
But for those who are aware of the reality of the devil's presence inside the Church,
few of them are aware of how he has neatly ensconced himself within.
One Church tradition, more than any other, has been responsible for his protection
within the Church hierarchic Church government!
More than any other custom, the acceptance of this Babylonian concept into church
structures has permitted Satan and his demonic forces to hold immense power and do
incalculable damage. It is hard to assess just how much injury he has been able to inflict
on God's people, because the harm is mostly spiritual and therefore not readily
There can be no doubt that much harm has been done! And all in the name of
In The Name of Christ!
It is far easier to see the destruction wrought upon the Church in the Middle Ages when
a corrupt hierarchic Church leadership used their illicit powers to subjugate people in
the Inquisitions. Horrendous tortures were inflicted upon those who refused to bow to
papal pressure. Multiple thousands, if not millions, were martyred, all in the name of
Christ, under the banner of His 'authority'.
"The Inquisition, called the 'holy office', was instituted by Pope Innocent III,
and perfected under the second following pope, Gregory IX. It was the Church Court for
detection and punishment of heretics. Under it, everyone was required to inform against
heretics. Anyone suspected was liable to torture, without knowing the name of his accuser.
The proceedings were secret. The Inquisitor pronounced sentence, and the victim was turned
over to the civil authorities to be imprisoned for life, or to be burned. The victim's
property was confiscated, and divided between the Church and the State.
"In the period immediately following Pope Innocent III the Inquisition did its
most deadly work against the Albigenses, but also claimed vast multitudes of victims in
Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
"Later on the Inquisition was the main agency in the papacy's effort to crush the
Reformation. It is stated that in the 30 years between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000
Protestants were put to death in the pope's war for the extermination of the
"Think of monks and priests, in holy garments, directing, with heartless cruelty
and inhuman brutality, the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women, and
doing it in the name of Christ, by the direct order of the 'Vicar of Christ'.
"The Inquisition was the most infamous and devilish thing in human history. It was
devised by popes, and used by them for 500 years, to maintain their power. For its record
none of the subsequent line of 'holy' and 'infallible' popes have ever apologized." (Halley's
Bible Handbook, pp. 776, 777).
That inhumanity was an outgrowth of hierarchic rule in the Church. It is satanic!
Hierarchy Supplants Christ's Rule
Of course, people will say, "Yes, but that was during uncivilized times. We are
civilized today. We don't allow such brutality to be inflicted now in the name of
Oh no? If you think that, you are naive or ignorant, or both! The devil is just as
active today as he has been throughout the history of the Church. But he has got more
cunning. His activities are more discreet. They go unnoticed by the majority of
Christians. His infiltration into the Church, and his subsequent controls are more sly
Satan's influence in the Church, through subtle controls forced on God's people,
inflict untold spiritual damage on them today. These controls, however, are mainly
psychological. They are not always overt.
Evil Church authorities used physical torture to impose doctrinal uniformity in the
past. Today, it is mainly psychological pressure which is brought to bear on church
members to make them comply with the wishes or teachings of the leadership. Both are
equally wrong. We are not to obey men. We should obey God (Acts 5:29). Obedience is an
aspect of worship. We are not to be subservient to the whims of men, but to the rule of
God (Rom 6:16).
Hierarchic human authority was the form of rule adopted by Babylon and every subsequent
world ruling power. It began with Nimrod, founder of Babel, which became a model for all
conquering Gentile kingdoms.
And it was hierarchic Church authority which was adopted by the false ecclesiastical
Church (called 'Babylon' in Rev 17) which enabled it to subjugate those under its
jurisdiction. This 'Church' worked in co-operation with the State to pursue its evil ends.
The Church today is unaware that in many parts it is under similar human domination and
is not exercising its full freedoms in Christ. This was prophesied. Zion, the Church in
prophecy, is told to shake herself loose from her captors (Is 52:1,2). Jeremiah lamented:
"The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My
people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?" (Jer 5:31.)
Indeed, what will you do in the end? The result is idolatry. A man
your church leader assumes the position of God in your mind. It is all very subtle;
all very clever. It is designed by Satan to draw you away from Christ and lay you open to
What was wrong with Nimrod's rule was that Nimrod took God's place in the eyes of the
people. He became "a mighty hunter before the Lord" (Gen 10:9) i.e. in the eyes
of the people. He gained their attention. People followed Nimrod, instead of
God. Nimrod had usurped God's place.
The same thing is widespread in the Church. People are idolising their leaders
not knowingly, mind you! Most are unaware of their sin. But misplaced loyalties are highly
Hierarchic Church rule is furtively satanic.
Oh, it works. It works well. Everything is well organised and things run smoothly when
rule from the top down is established. And when the righteous hold such positions,
blessings result and no-one seems to get hurt. But when false ministers gain control (2
Cor 11:13-15) Satan surreptitiously finds a foothold in the Church and disaster strikes.
When that occurs, apostasy advances like the relentless tide.
||A comparison of the correct system of administration in the Church - according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, passed on down to Paul - with that in the Church, shows the error of most church structures.
- Authority tends to be conferred
by men, instead of being conferred by Christ.
- Hierarchic rule is a system of
human authority, not spiritual or divine.
- Members effectively follow their
- But we are to obey God, not men
- We should be led directly by the
Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14), not by a Church hierarchy.
* * *
For a complete
exegesis on what the Bible says about authority in the Church, request the
book God's Church – Whose Authority? available
for £3.00 ($5.00 US) from: Midnight
Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK.
* * *