We live in tumultuous times indeed! I woke up yesterday to my social media feed flooded with images of Kanye West sharing and leading worship at Lakewood Church! Much has been written lately regarding the rise of Kanye to evangelical status. Divided opinions really.
Some christians are overjoyed. Other’s remain skeptical, even cynical. It bothers me. Not Kanye. Cynical Believers!
The Scriptures teach that if we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and King, that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, and that He died for the atonement of our sin and was resurrected from the dead to the glory of God – then surely no antichrist spirit can have sway over us.
Kanye West is saved by the same confession of faith as we are. He is our brother in the Lord for as long as his testimony is Jesus Christ. Rejoice then! The angels in Heaven certainly are.
Does it mean that we should then hang on every word West speaks? Does it mean that overnight he should be a teacher of the word behind a pulpit because of his previous secular status? Does it mean that we ought to embrace him based on his popular fame? Absolutely not. West, like everyone who ever entered into the Kingdom must walk in discipleship unto maturity. It’s a Kingdom thing. God’s not going to change it. For anybody. No matter how famous they may be.
But, during that process he (West) will shout out his testimony from every podium, platform and pulpit available to him. For as long as the testimony is the salvation of the Lord – I’ll say Amen! every time. For as long as he is ever ready to give an account of the hope that is now within him – I am happy to call him Brother Kanye. Has a sort of nice ring to it too!
During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s a truly modern day prophet and my dear friend Kim Clement prophesied on many occasions by the unction of the Holy Spirit that the Kingdom would see many celebrities and famous global icons enter into it. I believe that the time for those prophecies is at hand now.
How often have we prayed and prophesied that someone famous would turn to Jesus Christ and use their talents for the Kingdom and to call out to their secular fans and invite them into a new life? Very often!
Now that God has answered and it is upon us, let us not draw back or allow a skeptical, cynical, even judgemental spirit to settle over us lest we too fall from the Grace that keeps each one of us.
The Standard Hasn’t Changed
Radical conversion. Radical transformation. Radical change. This is what we are witnessing. What won’t change however is the standard of righteousness, holiness, purity and justice! Not for even the most famous celebrity on the planet.
No matter who it is that comes into the Kingdom, the price is the same, the requirements are the same, the cost is the same, the rewards are the same, the benefits are the same and the blessings are the same – just as it is for you and I.
That means you don’t get to lead the people of God into worship just because you’re famous or talented. You don’t get to teach the Word just because you’re a good orator or charismatic personality. There has to be a price paid to receive an anointing from the Spirit of the Lord. It comes through discipleship and submission and allowing God to work in your life through His Spirit.
While the Holy Spirit is working out your salvation in you, all you have to be: is ready! Ready to share your personal story (Kanye was) at any given opportunity so that you might touch another soul the way the Lord has touched you. Use whatever platform is available to you. But if you cannot submit to working out your salvation with fear and trembling then you don’t yet understand the Ways of God.
A Radical Shift
The ways of man are becoming more and more irrelevant to this Prophet. I know the ecclesiastical system very well. I grew up in a mega church. I was always a PPK! I’ve been exposed to, and understand better than most, the system of church, church politics and the religious order since I was a child.
PPK: It’s an acronym used by (and to refer to) the children of those in ministry who get dragged into church every time the church doors open for whatever reason!
Whether it’s a special event, a 5am prayer meeting, midnight tarry meeting, seminar, impartation service or just regular church (all services!) – a preacher’s kid has no choice! We would all forlornly congregate together in the foyer after the service lamenting the lateness of the hour and the homework we still had to complete. Poor Preacher’s Kids (PPK) indeed.
A religious system inevitably reverts to the ways of man rather than the Way of God. We see it all through the history of the nation of Israel. We see it in the warning writings of the early apostles writing to a church less than 100 years old.
God sets the standard. We promise Him that we will do all He commands (which is what the Children of Israel said at Mt Sinai) and then the first chance we get, we break our promise! We revert to our way of doing things. And we call it – Church.
Assimilation Is Not Kingdom Culture
Today most Believers have a church-centred idea of the Kingdom and not a Christ-centric ideology of it. Talk to the average church goer and they are more sold out to their church’s way of doing things than adhering to what the Scriptures teach. We hear it in the way we speak to fellow Believers, “Oh brother, in our church this is what we believe and this is the way we do church.”
For many, their home church has come to epitomise the Kingdom. Soon they believe that the Kingdom is about church-life, youth events, bible groups, prayer meetings, encounter nights, young adult retreats, drama ministry, choir rehearsal, music ministry, and everything except what Kingdom is really about: God’s supernatural Ways, character and customs superseding and replacing our carnal culture, habits and traditional systems.
assimilate | əˈsɪmɪleɪt | verb [with object]
• absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture: pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream with alarming speed.
• [no object] become similar: the Churches assimilated to a certain cultural norm.
In the world system, when you become a citizen of another country you are permitted to hold to your culture and traditions, your language and even cuisine preferences of the land of your birth – so long as none of them contravene the laws governing your country of adoption. This is the pattern of the world. It is not the pattern of the Kingdom of God.
In Kingdom culture we do not adopt, adapt or conform to the cultural norms and customs of those who enter into the Kingdom nor do we assimilate it into our culture to make others feel ‘comfortable’. Not even for a second!
Entry into the Kingdom is by rebirth. Essentially you attain citizenship through supernatural means and are born into the culture, customs and conventions of the King of the Kingdom. His Ways and preferences supersede all previous paradigms and penchants you once held dear. Not one of the cultural norms you previously clung to survives when you become the citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Within any embassy’s walls, the local culture of the land that they are geographically based in is irrelevant. The embassy reflects the values, customs, conventions, protocols and even the food choices of the country they represent. It is essentially “sovereign soil.”
The Church (catholic) and the local church both are representatives of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are Embassies of the country called Heaven. Within it’s walls the local customs and culture of the city wherein they are located is rendered immaterial . Only the Will and Ways of the King whose Kingdom it is prevails.
Most of this makes sense to those who have laid down their will and agenda to embrace the Sovereign Will of their King. But it irritates and aggravates and even offends those who embrace religious traditions and ecclesiastical conventions and the “this is how our church does church!” mindset.
Here’s a newsflash from the Homeland we are supposed to represent: The King is drawing a line. It’s His way or nothing! No mixture will be tolerated!
The Death of “Seeker-Sensitive” Is Now!
It has seduced us. We became enamoured with it. It seemed good to start. Perhaps we were convinced that it was even God. But what started out as something with Godly intent has been corrupted by the serpent of old through the leaven of the pharisees and has now become anathema. But its time’s up!
The “seeker sensitive” label is associated with many megachurches – very large embassies – (especially in the United States) where the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven is proclaimed with various creative elements as an assimilation of a foreign secular popular culture within the walls of the embassy!
A seeker-sensitive church tries to reach out to the unsaved person by making the church experience as comfortable, inviting, and non-threatening as possible. The anticipation is that the person will believe in the gospel.
The idea behind the concept is to get as many unsaved people through the door as possible, and the church leadership are willing to use nearly any means to accomplish that goal.
Theatrics and musical entertainment are the norm in the church service to keep both the unsaved person and the Believer from getting bored. State-of-the-art technology in lighting and sound are common components of the seeker-sensitive churches, especially the larger ones! Perhaps because they have bigger budgets?
The reasoning is that if you give the unsaved (or church-goer) better entertainment than they can receive elsewhere, or “do church” in way that is a non-threatening, non offensive, hip, cool, trendy, attractive or fashionable, then they will come, they will accept the gospel and remain because they will not feel they have to surrender their existing cultural and social norms or feel that church is – boring!
The tactic is to lure the un-churched and hold the Believer with great entertainment, first-class offerings in the form of various programs designed to enthral and occupy (lest they become bored), and provide a banal sugar-coated “How to live your best life now” smorgasbord based on the dietary needs of a palate accustomed to savouring the taste of popular opinion.
The problem with all of this for me is that we get the unsaved to come to church. Great! They see and experience all of the above and get saved. Even better! However, they are now expecting all of it to continue because this is how we’ve romanced them into salvation. We wooed them into the Kingdom with a shiny lure and now we are forced to continually service the value proposition we wowed them with!
I get that we want to get the unsaved to come to church. But since when did the strategy of the church become about creating an environment for the unsaved and saved alike to feel comfortable and entertained in order to hear the message of the King of the Kingdom of Heaven?
God has had enough! For too long now the spirit of Babylon (and if you dont know what that is – go ask your pastor why you’ve never heard about it from the pulpit) has been entertained and embraced by the Church! God is drawing a line!
We’re supposed to be the local representatives of the Sovereign Kingdom of Heaven! We’re not supposed to look like, sound like, duplicate or imitate the world! It’s time now to come out of Egypt and her treasures. Its time to get rid of the spirit of Babylon from within the Embassy called the Church!
The Kingdom Is Not Boring
Religion is mundane. It’s repetitive. It’s a dead message to dry bones! Religious traditions and ecclesial norms soon imprison and enslave us to whatever the prevailing trend is. But Kingdom living is anything but boring! It’s the total opposite.
I think that the early church had power and signs and wonders in abundance. It was the first ever embassy of the Kingdom. it was the template. The prototype. Nothing boring was going on in there! Everything was innovation and pioneering. The Spirit of God was in full control and in full flow in a measure we have yet to possess.
The Book of Acts Church had no need to “create” or replicate or imitate or produce a substitute environment or artificial atmosphere because it was the anointing of the Spirit of the Living God that made all the difference!
Today we mistake the atmosphere we manufacture through our media presentations and fancy sound and lighting rigs for anointing of the Holy One! Goosebumps are mistaken for signs. And production for His Presence.
You can have all the fancy lighting and visual effects. You can have the most advanced sound system on the planet. Go for it – if your church can afford it. I don’t mind at all. I actually prefer it to a sombre, dreary “yawn-a-minute” congregational.
But know this: Unless it is all backed up by the power of the unction of the anointing of the Holy Ghost it’s nothing! It’s churchy. But it’s not the Kingdom!
THE OFFENSIVE FORERUNNERS!
John the Baptiser was an offence to many in Israel. In truth though he only offended the hierarchy of the religious order of the day. His language was pretty harsh toward those who set the traditions of the system. And yet Jesus called him the greatest forerunner prophet the earth had ever seen!
I don’t care much for the ways of man anymore. Religious systems have become irrelevant to me. And much like John the Baptist, I do not seek to curry ecclesiastical favour! The only thing that matters as a prophet is to help bring to maturity a Church worthy enough to be called the Bride of Christ.
That type of forerunner generation is rising again. God spoke very clearly to me that He is done with having false representation on the earth. God is going to clean House and shake the Church from within.
Jehovah did not tolerate idolatry in Israel. He did not tolerate any unclean thing in the Tabernacle. God has not changed. He is going to set His House in order.
God is raising up a generation right now carrying the double portion of the spirit of Elijah in these last days to do exactly that – so that Christ can once again be the centre of attention!
The seduction of the seeker sensitive movement is over. It’s time is up! Let’s stop sugar coating things now. It’s time to get radical.
Is the spirit of the forerunner to be found in your generation and in your church? Is it you? Its only cry has already been prophesied through Isaiah, echoed by John and now re-sounded by the Remnant Prophets:
As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,Who will prepare Your way before You.”Mark 1:2-3 (NKJV)
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”
Love you Warriors.