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Who will stand?

Posted by appolus on January 15, 2022

A number of years ago I came across the story of the Decian persecution of Christians while I was doing research for a book I was writing. I did not include this in the book but it is interesting to consider the facts. Decian was the Roman Emperor in 250 ad. He issued an edict that required everyone in the Roman empire to perform a sacrifice. The sacrifice was to be made to the Roman gods, and also included a loyalty oath towards his rule as Emperor. (See above image) The sacrifice had to be carried out before a Roman magistrate who would then sign a certificate which would allow them to carry on with whatever business they were involved with. This certificate would enable them to buy or sell.

The particular region I was studying was Carthage. It was expected that there would be great resistance to this from the Christian community and indeed this was part of the motivation for the decree in the first place. Imprisonment and death were the penalties for those who refused to participate in the sacrifice. The Carthaginian authorities settled on the days that the city was to participate. They were totally taken by surprise by the large numbers of “Christians,’ who rushed to “get their certificate.” They had to extend the time they had allotted for the sacrifices and certificate signing.

Out of the group that refused to be involved in sacrificing to gods, many were martyred, others were imprisoned and still others went into hiding. Interestingly, at the same time as this “empire wide,” persecution, a plague had broken out and was killing up to five thousand Romans per day. This only added to the hatred of Christians as they were deemed to be in some way responsible for this. And so, when this particular persecution ended, there was a great deal of tension between those who had stood their ground for Jesus and those who had capitulated in order to save themselves.

This was not the first time this had happened, nor would it be the last. The Diocletian persecution would be the most intense staring at around 300ad and last for around a decade. Again the spit would happen. A large majority would capitulate and deny the faith, the smaller minority would be killed, imprisoned or flee. When the smoke cleared from this latest persecution, the larger group that had capitulated to the state would be the group favored by Constantine. No surprise that the Emperor would choose the group who he could count on to bow the knee to him and the State. That group were the Catholics. The minority group, the group that had refused to hand over their scriptures to the State and to bow the knee, were known as “Donatists.’ They refused to acknowledge anyone who had capitulated to Rome as a Christian. For this they were hunted down and killed.

I would just like to say that some things never change. There is and always has been a large group, a majority group, within the world that identifies itself as Christian, that will not “stand in the evil day.” It is such an evil day that separates the sheep from the goats. It is the storm that tests the foundations of the house. It is not what a man or woman calls themselves that counts for anything, it is who they actually are. Those who have received the love of the truth, who are genuinely born again, will stand in that day. They will be martyred, they will be imprisoned or they will flee. What they will not do, what they could never do, what they have never done, is to deny their Lord. As it was, so it always shall be until that glorious day when Christ returns.

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Church history, churches, consequences of sin, Constantine, discernment, end times, End Times Eschatology, heresy, Jesus, leaving the church, prophecy, religion, religious, religious persecution, revival, Spiritual warfare, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

When the prophets are no longer silenced!

Posted by appolus on January 10, 2022

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church, Church history, church of england, church of scotland, churches, consequences of sin, controlling churches, discernment, end times, End Times Eschatology, False Doctrine, God's voice, Jesus, leaving the church, pentecostal, prophecy, prophet, prophetic movement, revival, spiritual growth, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The church that lies in ruins.

Posted by appolus on January 9, 2022

The present position of Christ in the gospel churches may be likened to that of king in a limited constitutional monarchy (think of Great Britain) The king, sometimes depersonalized by the term “the Crown,” is in such a country no more than a traditional rallying point, a pleasant symbol of unity and loyalty much like a flag or a national anthem. He is lauded, feted and supported, but his real authority is small. Nominally he is head over all, but in every crisis someone else makes the decisions. On formal occasions he appears in his royal attire to deliver the tame, colorless speech put into his mouth by the real rulers of the country. The whole thing may be no more than good-natured make believe, but is rooted in antiquity, it is a lot of fun and no one wants to give it up (Tozer)

This is a quote from the last piece Tozer ever wrote. It is a confession to being part of a system that had relegated Christ to being no more than a figurehead and that same system had robbed Jesus of His authority within their gatherings. In Great Britain there is a Queen. She and her family survive within what is known as a constitutional monarchy. She has no real power. The power all resides within Parliament and the Prime Minister. These of course are elected positions, the people choose. The Queen’s main role is cutting ribbons, launching ships and drawing tourists. She also is a symbol of stability, but in the end, she could be rejected from even this limited role if the people so chose.

This is Tozer’s argument. The average church in America has relegated Jesus to a limited role. Rather than a Prime Minister, we have a senior pastor or minister. Jesus is acknowledged as Lord, of course, but it practice He has been relegated and man has taken the position. The Holy Spirit, for the most part, has no role within the average American church. The Word of God is readily dismissed in favor of tradition and customs. The Protestant world readily criticizes the Catholic mass (as well they should) as nothing more than the same thing repeated every week. (laying aside the obvious erroneous centerpiece of the Eucharist) And yet, for the most part, you also know exactly what to expect every week at your local church.

Tozer blames the following two reasons for this disaster…..1. The power of custom, precedent and tradition within older religious groups. These, like gravitation, affect every particle of religious practice withing the group, exerting a steady and constant pressure in one direction. Of course direction is toward conformity to the status quo. Not Christ but custom is Lord. And the same thing has passed over into the other groups such as the full gospel tabernacles, the holiness churches, the pentecostal and fundamental churches and the non-denominational churches found everywhere throughout the North American continent.

The second cause is the revival of intellectualism among the evangelicals. This, if I sense the situation correctly, is not so much a thirst for learning, rather a desire for a reputation of being learned. Our Evangelical faith ( which I believe to be the true faith of Christ and His Apostles) is being attacked these days from many different directions. IN the Western world the enemy has forsworn violence. He no longer comes against us with sword and fire, he now comes smiling, bearing gifts. He raises his eyes to heaven and swears that he too believes in the faith of our fathers , but his real purpose is to destroy that faith, or at least modify it to such an extent that it is no longer a supernatural thing it once was. (Tozer-The Waning Authority of Christ in the churches-pages 14-16)

Tozer lays this out almost 70 years ago, on his death bed so to speak. The old prophet saw in one last sweep of history, what had become of the professing churches. Can I say brothers and sisters, it has degraded so much more so in the last 70 years. If the authority of Jesus was waning 70 years ago in the churches, it is all but gone now. So the question becomes “what must we do.” Tozer asks that very question in the last paragraph and I will leave you with his suggestions……….

What, then, are we to do? Each one of us must decide and there are at least three possible choices. One is to rise up in shocked indignation and accuse me of irresponsible reporting. Another is to nod in general agreement with what is written here but take comfort in the fact that there are exceptions and we are among the exceptions. The other is to go down in meek humility and confess that we have grieved the Holy Spirit and dishonored our Lord in failing to give Him the place His Father has given Him as Head and Lord of the Church. Either the first or the second will but confirm the wrong. The third, if carried out to its conclusion, will remove the curse. The decision lies with us.

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Church history, church of england, church of scotland, churches, False Doctrine, False Prophets, false teachers, heresy, Jesus, leaving the church, new wineskins, organich church, pentecostal, religion, religious, revival, scripture, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Birdcages made by men.

Posted by appolus on July 6, 2021

The Spirit of God is always the Spirit of liberty; the spirit that is not of God is the spirit of bondage, the spirit of oppression and depression. The Spirit of God convicts vividly and tenesly, but He is always the Spirit of liberty. God who made the birds never made birdcages; it is people who make birdcages, and after a while become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg. When we get out into God’s great free life, we discover that that is the way God means us to live “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Oswald Chambers)

There are two main types of garden in this world. There is the garden designed by man. Wonderful and regulated in its design, measured distances between flowers, well thought out patters that please the eye. And then there is the seed that has committed itself to the Wind of the Spirit which carries it and deposits it where it will, and there it springs up and flourishes in the garden of our God. The wide open fields of God’s great free life. The so called wildflowers that grows in open meadows or drainage ditches. or in the side-streets of slums or in valley floors or mountain ranges. Who knows where the wind of the Spirit shall deposit them. God knows.

So, shall you commit the seed of your life to the wind of the Spirit? Shall you surrender yourself to be taken wherever you shall be taken? Or shall you commit yourself to the hand of man? To the designs of men? To the relative safety found in regulation? One of those choices involves great risk but also results in great freedom. The other guarantees certainty and the price is conformity. Imagine a bird, designed to fly in open skies, trapped in a birdcage. What a tragedy. Guaranteed food and shelter but the cost is no flight in open skies. Maybe the one who constrains you lets you out of your cage every now and then and you fly straight to the window. There is something in you longing to be free as you gaze at open fields or eternal skies. It’s Gods calling. Are you free today or are you being called to freedom today?

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, churches, controlling churches, deception, healing, inspirational, Jesus, leaving the church, new wineskins, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The holy sound of heaven here on earth.

Posted by appolus on May 24, 2021

The congregation, the gathered, the called out ones are, in and of themselves a set of instruments. Each a vital part of the orchestra and without such there can be no genuine praise and worship. Without the instruments of God making beautiful expressions composed by the Holy Spirit all we have is professional music and a professional speaker. The true instruments remain silent. And the one who fine tunes each and every one of these instruments is dismayed to see that they are silenced. .
The people hear manufactured music that lulls them to spiritual sleep. They have long forgotten that they themselves are instruments in the hands of the Master musician. When the orchestra of God has been silenced, when the conductor has been usurped, then all we are left with is noise, clanging symbols and sounding brass. Only as the full orchestra plays, conducted by the Holy Spirit Himself, can the hearts be pierced rather than be dulled and lulled into a state of slow death. For the symphony to rise to heaven all instruments must be engaged. This is the Body, all moving together, conducted by majesty and producing a magnificent holy sound that brings down the weight of heaven’s glory. We have been drowned by the noise of silence. Sparks rise up and dance in the darkness from the fires of our own making. Oh to God that the usurpers would fall and the preeminent One would take His rightful place.

Posted in bible, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church mafia, church of scotland, consequences of sin, Counterfeit Jesus, discernment, False Prophet, Fresh Fire, God's voice, Ignited Church, inspirational, intimacy, Jesus, leaving the church, revival, spiritual gifts, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The heavens declare His righteousness.

Posted by appolus on April 7, 2021

Psa 97:5-6 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

No one stands in the presence of God, all are silent before His majesty, all are hushed as awe descends like a blanket upon the heads of His people and their heads are bowed and their hands raised up and trembling. Not because they were instructed to bow their heads or raise their hands , sit , stand ,or jump . No, no, not in the presence of God. One assumes a position before the living and the mighty God just as a natural instinct. No instructions are required as one is prostrate in His holiness. Every part of who you are is penetrated by light. It is glorious and traumatic all at the same time.

And the oil that dwells within your chest is set aflame by this light, this fire from the throne itself. “Did not our hearts burn within us as we walked with Him?” Yet we are not walking now, we are in the throne room itself, God has come down. Our whole body burns with a beautiful warmth. All things are possible, eternity stretches out before us and we never want to leave this place. The candlestick burns. God speaks, sin melts like wax, refining, yes refining. We offer ourselves and the dross that lies within and the Lord says “Come.”

What we have today bears no resemblance whatsoever to what God initiated. We have man centered church. Programs of men. Teachings of men. Musical programs. None are bad in and of themselves, they are just not God ordained. Religious social clubs. I believe that shortly, God’s people will come out of the social clubs because they will be desperate to rediscover the glory and the majesty of God and they will seek Him where He can be found.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, gifts of the spirit, inspirational, intimacy, leaving the church, pentecostal, praise and worship, spiritual growth, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, The Psalms, the remnant, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Unequally yoked-genuine fellowship.

Posted by appolus on April 6, 2021

We were warned in 2 Cor 6:14 not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. So of course the question becomes “what is an unbeliever?” In the context of the Scriptures and the times of the Scriptures being written, a believer was someone who had trusted God with all of his/her heart.
 
Someone who had counted the cost. Someone who loved not their lives unto death. Someone who was willing and desirous even, to suffer for the cause of Christ, someone who would even rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer for Jesus. This was a believer, and an unbeliever was someone not willing to do these things. What fellowship could one have with the other? What fellowship can hot have with lukewarm? One is desirable and the other is vomited out.
 
How does this apply to the modern day church? People like Tozer and Ravenhill spoke of the tiny percentage of professing believers that are actually saved. Let us be really generous and say that 30% of professing Christians are actually genuine believers, that leaves 70% who are not. Next time you go to a church building, look around and consider these numbers. The question then becomes, ” are you unequally yoked,” based upon a Scriptural model of what it means to be saved.
 
We are asked “what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness.” One is darkness, the other is light. Listen to the instruction given “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” Have you given serious consideration to this commandment from the Lord? What does it mean to you? Come out from what? Be separate from what? Do not have fellowship with who? These are serious questions and I cannot answer them for you. 
 
All I can say is, if you go back to the second paragraph and see the traits of the saint, is this who you fellowship with? Jesus talks about vomit when it comes to lukewarmness. Could He make it any clearer? Are you gathering with lukewarmness? I would put it to you that you are in direct violation of the commands of God if you are. Fellowshipping with other saints is not about ticking a box. It’s not about a three minute conversation in the foyer after a “service.” It is at least two passionate like-minded individuals getting together to talk about their common passion, Jesus!!! This is what we are driven to do if we indeed have the Holy Spirit burning at the core of who we are.
 
We would talk about Jesus, we would talk about His word, we would talk about how He talked to us. We would talk about how He just brought us through whatever He just brought us through. We would talk about the passion of coming into His presence. We would talk about the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon us and how it was sanctifying us. We would talk about our love for one another. We would confess our faults and our failures and our sins to one another. We would talk about how He raised us up when we were down. We would sing the glories of Christ our King together.
 
We would talk about a word of knowledge He gave us, we would share a word of wisdom, a word in season, an exhortation. We would rebuke and correct one another. We would love one another enough to do all of the aforementioned things. The hours would fly away as we spoke about our common passion. Our bonds would grow deep and our unity would grow strong. It would not be the name of our denomination that bound us together, there would be no such thing. It would not be the four walls that we shared that would bind us together. It would be Christ alone, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that would unify us. Our identity would be in Christ alone.
 
We would share what the Lord had taught us and in the sharing we would be teaching one another. We would stand up and testify to His power in our lives. We would stand up and testify to the magnificent beauty of the King off Kings and of the things that we had seen in the Spirit. We would shed tears together. Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of sorrow. When one of us suffered and testified to the suffering we would all suffer. When one would testify of great joy and overcoming an obstacle we would all have great joy together. We would pray together, genuinely pray together. We would be one in our prayers. That is the gathering brothers and sisters. I would say to you that almost none of that can or does happen when the majority of the people that we gather with live, at the very best, in lukewarmness or even outright darkness. How can light fellowship with darkness? It cannot. Consider your position saint.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Frank Bartleman, Ignited Church, Jesus, leaving the church, new wineskins, pentecostal, religion, revival, spiritual growth, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Leaving ” The church”

Posted by appolus on April 25, 2014

I believe with all my heart that Gods remnant children are being raised up all over the world. They are being separated, like the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. Many of them are in a sort of desert, not of their own choosing, but by the calling of God. In that desert they are learning to depend upon Him entirely so that when the time comes, persecution and so on, that even if none go with them, still they shall follow. Yet that does not change the fact that they have a sincere and genuine desire to have genuine fellowship with those of like-mind, meaning those who burn with a passion for the Lord and are hungry and thirsty for His presence and simply just cannot do business as usual anymore.

This is the process of God calling His own. This is the process of counting the cost. Certainly, when the Lord was crucified, one would have to be found outside the walls in order to be identified with Him. To be outside the walls, to be detached from the system is not an easy or a simple thing, it comes with great cost and indeed if it did not it would not be the decision that it is. This calling is only going to get more intense as we move forward, as the day of the Lord approaches. Yet the Lord has called us to gather together, and all the more as we see that day approach and that is why I believe you will begin and are beginning to see a visible representation of these called out children.

This is the reply to this post from a dear sister who testifies to its reality in her life………… ” I know this is an old post, Frank, but it speaks so profoundly to me. How often has being called out of the system been commented on by others as simply a sort of laziness about attending church or perhaps a bitterness because of strife among members. How can I describe the heart wrenching decision it required, the loneliness and isolation that resulted, the abandoning of an entire culture my life revolved around, the shunning by those who were once friends? How often have I had the Hebrews 10:20 verse thrown at me? So often that I took this verse to the Lord for understanding. What a glorious meaning this verse actually has! How surprised I was the “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” was referring to the very assembling you are talking about in this writing.

The very words used here are used in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 being translated there as “our gathering together unto Him” speaking of the Day of Christ even being echoed in the Hebrews scripture when it says, “as ye see the day approaching”. Following Christ has always been the call to come out, lay down our lives, pick up our crosses and follow only Him. As you have said so many places, in each generation there has been such an assembly. That is the general assembly and church of the Firstborn we draw near to – that is the assembly we dare not forsake. THAT is the assembling of ourselves together IN Him. And the dreadful warning given in Hebrews for those that forsake this assembling together – this being gathered unto Him – and draw back! You have but to read the rest of the chapter to have the unbidden prayer roll out from the heart smitten by the enormity of this glorious call, “Oh God, may I be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of Man in the general assembly of just men made perfect and Jesus Christ the mediator of a new covenant in that day!” “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and not tarry.” Heb 10:37″

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, leaving the church, pentecostal, revival, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »