Are You Moving Ahead?
Shake off your dust; rise up...
Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion
(Is 52:2, NIV).
In our work
for God, we continually face opposition. Those who give us their hand of
support face the same thing. It's to be expected (Jn 16:2). When that
hostile attack comes from former brethren and ministers, you have to ask
why? In ministers, the reason is often tied in with control. Men
who hold positions of power invariably want to control others.
This is one
means the devil uses to great effect in organised churches – control.
In your spiritual walk, watch out for that. Whoever wants to control you
spiritually or what you believe, is under demonic influence! It is a spirit
of witchcraft. It comes from Satan.
strategy is not hard to see. By influencing the leaders of movements, he can
effectively control and limit the spread of truth and its impact on those
whom God wants to reach and lead forward.
in life is one of growing in grace and knowledge, as the apostle Peter wrote
(2 Pet 3:18). God extends to us His grace so that we can learn to become
more like Him. The transformation has been described by some as ‘new birth’,
by others as ‘being begotten’ of God, by Paul as ‘regeneration’ (Titus 3:5,
KJV) or ‘renewal’ (Titus 3:5 NIV).
of the label you give it, it doesn’t alter Satan’s hate for what God has
begun in you. He wants to stop it. He tries in every way he can to thwart
your spiritual development to prevent you moving on to the next level.
broadly ‘categorise’ the levels of spiritual development as:
learn truth in the intellect. Then, as you move on in the Spirit, your
belief is internalised and becomes cemented in your heart. You believe to a
much deeper level than just that of intellectual assent. And, when faith
deepens to its greatest extent, you live out in every circumstance the faith
God has birthed within you. That’s when your character really
what Satan wants to prevent.
for the devil, the very resistance God permits – Satan’s active opposing of
what God is doing in you – can be the catalyst of God’s perfecting.
came against Job, he thought he could destroy Job’s spiritual progress....
for good! I mean, he thought he could destroy him for ever. But what God had
allowed Satan to do, was for good, in more ways than one. It was the very
instrument of God’s refining for eternity. It was God’s means of helping Job
In one of
our meetings we received a prophetic word which said that out of tragedy God
creates beauty (or words to that effect). What seems disaster to us, is
often an important part of God’s spiritual refashioning process.
And so it
is in the progress of the gospel, as it is in our individual spiritual
development. When the apostolic church was birthed in about AD 33,
opposition erupted from the first day.
disciples were heard speaking in tongues, others mocked and scoffed (Acts
2:13). Mockers and scoffers continue to do the devil’s bidding today,
especially when the power of God manifests.
It was one
reason our Kenyan evangelist friends were ostracised by ministers and
brethren in their former association. The leadership of the ‘Churches of
God’ do not accept spiritual gifts. Why? Because they have not yet moved
ahead sufficiently in the Spirit. Their spiritual development is still at
level 1. They ‘know’ certain truths in their intellect (at least, they think
they do – some of those concepts are wrong, too). Their faith has not yet
blossomed to embrace matters of the heart, matters of the spirit within.
They are operating ‘in the flesh’ as Paul put it (as rendered by the Old
King James Version). They are operating on the physical level only; not in
the Spirit, not properly led by the Spirit of God.
I am being
kind to them, giving them ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Some of them are false
ministers, deceitful workmen, masquerading as ministers of God (2 Cor
11:13,14). They are tools of the devil! So it is no wonder they oppose
things of God!
God allows these false believers to trouble true believers is stated by
there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s
approval (1 Cor 11:19, NIV).
8:1, we read that as opposition and persecution intensified against the
gospel, so it spread. God allowed negative forces to be the catalyst of
negative experience in our spiritual journey can be harnessed for positive
when God first calls His children out of this world, they are drawn into a
church structure which is not ideal. Most organised churches are run on the
hierarchic format like that of the church God describes in Revelation 17:5
as the mother of harlots. In western Christendom, she is the great structure
of the Roman Catholic Church, ruled by the Vatican. This hierarchic monolith
is an abomination to God. Besides its very wrong teachings, its structure of
governing is no different than this world’s. And that is Satan’s!
Church – Whose Authority? we explain what is so very wrong with this
system of rulership. It excludes and even REPLACES the Spirit
of God. It is a huge blasphemy, because men take control where the Spirit of
God should be in charge. God has given us dreams about this – the biggest
single abuse in the Church!
children move ahead, God is able to show how wrong this system of human rule
in the Church really is.
in Kenya wrote to me about a dream God gave him in October about this
subject. Here is what he wrote:
30th October 2000
was visiting a Christian group site for the Feast of Tabernacles
services. On the third day of the feast I dreamt the following:
was in my room observing how some red ants were busy at work on one side
of the wall. They were using several small fishes as building materials
to erect a figure ‘g’ structure on the wall, some 5 feet off the floor.
While some ants were sticking firmly on the wall supporting the
structure, others were bringing in more materials. I looked, everything
was going very quickly. The structure was increasing rapidly and
protruding on the wall. Suddenly I felt the mother ant (Queen) fall into
my open right hand from nowhere. Then something told me to dispose of
the Queen into a small black paper bag inserted in a dustbin that I
always have placed by the door. Immediately after disposing of the
Queen, everything disappeared [the dream ended]. M. N., Mombasa, Kenya
dream conveys is to do with the matter of church governance and the speed
with which things are moving ahead in Africa. “Everything was going very
quickly” he says.
ants represent believers. Like ants, we are meant to be hard at work doing
what God has called us to. I believe the ‘g’ represents the formation of
God’s Kingdom on earth (the nucleus of which God is preparing now in the
Church), and, by extension, God whom we work for. Interestingly ‘g’ is the
seventh letter of our alphabet, a number which represents God and His
The ‘g’ was
5 feet above the floor. Five, in biblical numerics, represents preparation
or God’s grace. God is preparing something of immense value to Him as He
graciously works with His people.
also represent Christians, too. There is a Christian movement in this
country called the Ichthus movement, which employs the emblem of a fish
symbol. Jesus, in His last conversation with Peter (John 21), exhorted Peter
to become a fisher of men, not just a fisherman. He encouraged him to feed
the ones God is pulling into His Kingdom. Interestingly, there the number of
fish Jesus miraculously pulled into Peter’s net prior to this conversation,
was 153. 153 is 17 x 9, or the sum of 1 to 17. 17 numerically depicts
salvation, healing and deliverance.
shows how God has called people to various different functions in His body.
Some are holding the church together within, by their service and caring.
This would include many women, who are doing many worthwhile acts of
physical service, such as preparing food, and providing for others’ physical
needs where required. Then there are mothers whose nurture and training of
their children is of first importance. There are those who are called to
pray for others, more than to ‘do’ in the evangelistic sense.
also illustrated the evangelists’ calling – “others were bringing in more
believe God wants to highlight most by this vision is in the last part. The
ants are all busy doing what they have been called to do by instinct. We
know that from studying ant behaviour. A Christian’s behaviour, in
comparison, should be governed by his spiritual ‘instincts’. These are
transmitted to us via the Holy Spirit.
The ants do
not need the queen ant to tell them what to do and how to do it. She is
nurtured by them. In effect, she is a virtual parasite on all the
worker ants. By comparison, in some churches, the queen ant represents the
human leader. Where a man gains that much ‘authority’, he is grossly out of
line with God’s design.
The pope is
perhaps the most obvious example of this. He presides over the Catholic
Church, and if the Catholic Church were a church of God (which it is not; it
was built by Satan as a counterfeit), the pope would be sitting in place of
Jesus, enthroned by Jesus’ subjects, ruling over them. It is entirely
blasphemous. In fact, the pope is called the ‘Vicar of Christ’ or ‘Vicar of
the Son of God’ (in Latin, Vicarius Filei Dei, which numerically adds
up to 666). That is one of his official names, and ‘vicar’ means ‘in place
of’. He presides in place of Christ! It is a monumental blasphemy!!
Wherever men in leadership capacities in churches have become
like the pope – like the queen ant – they should be discarded, just as in
the dream. Why? Because they block the further moving of the Spirit of God.
They prevent the people of God moving ahead.
Malcolm B Heap