I've been talking about a visitation and vision I had about the body of Christ and will close it out today.
This is a wake up call to the church asleep
For much of the body of Christ around the world, believing in Jesus is a life and death situation. Many in those regions have more zeal for Him than many in the 'free' parts of the world, yet lack solid teaching on most aspects of the faith. One Chinese house church leader said they estimate 1,000,000 Chinese come to the Lord every month, but they have little teaching on marriage and family, for instance. India is not far behind in terms of numbers, and similarly the Lord has said the momentum has shifted in India to Indians evangelizing rather than relying on foreign missionaries to spread the gospel.
I have to shake my head in sadness when I hear of leaders in the auditorium church prophesying that the 'revival' they are looking for will happen when (one prophecy said when the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl)...folks, it's already happening, but it isn't coming to an auditorium near you - it is happening family to family as that is what God Himself invented back in the Garden of Eden, and He has never left the home.
But what does judgment starting at the house of God look like?
When you believed on Jesus, you judged yourself. You said 'I'm a sinner and I need God's remedy'. You judged yourself and took the provision of Christ. That 'big' judging of yourself set the stage for a lifetime of judging yourself.
When we do wrong and feel that grievance of the Spirit of Truth inside, and respond by admitting "I missed it Lord", we are judging ourselves. When we realize we said something hurtful to someone and go to them to apologize, we are judging ourselves. When God is dealing with us about a sin, a matter of the heart, of disciplining our thoughts or or physically - and we respond appropriately, we are judging ourselves.
When we stop running to and fro like children, to this newest flashy spiritual thing or that, in order to focus internally on Christ in us and growth in Him - we are judging ourselves.
When we realize our faith is stagnant because we are so locked into a narrow set of what we believe, and humble ourselves to truly learn beyond that which we think we know so well - we are judging ourselves.
When we have not been in fellowship with other believers for a long time and God is dealing with us about that, maybe because no church satisfies, but realizing it is people and real relationships we are looking for - we are judging ourselves. That resetting of godly priorities and then acting on them, is judging ourselves.
When the clerk gives us change from a transaction that is an error in our favor, and rather than keeping the extra money we return it - we are judging ourselves. When a server at a restaurant accidentally leaves off of the bill some food we had ordered, reducing the bill in our favor, and we call their attention to that rather than paying the lesser amount - we are judging ourselves. When we borrow or rent something and return it in as good or better condition than when we received it, we are judging yourself and walking in love.
In whatever area God is dealing with us about, if we respond appropriately, we are judging ourselves. Thankfully He is patient, often waiting decades for us to deal with issues of the heart and character.
For the west in particular
When I asked about the US and Europe in particular He responded with something He has said to me twice before - and He offered no more insight than before. Evidently because He keeps directing me back to what He said before, I need to learn more or nothing has changed since the first time He said it:
"Study the history of persecution. Notice there is nearly always economic and political pressure. Those pressures cause my people to judge themselves to focus on what is truly important. Remember what I told you years ago when you asked about Ananias and Sapphira; 'Many in this nation cry to the Father for revival, but if the Father poured out what they asked, there would be many, many, Ananias and Sapphira's across this land, for the level of judgment is equal to the level of the anointing."
(The intense light of God's Presence causes darkness to vanish. If you are all light in your heart and life you can stand the intensity of the light. But if the heart and life is darkness as with A&S, it would be very bad)
I have shared what He taught me about Ananias and Sapphira in other writings and teachings so I won't go into detail here other than to say that above, and this - their sin was hypocrisy during a time of great unity and outpouring of the Father's Spirit, and that unity had to be protected (at that time when all the body of Christ was in Jerusalem right after Pentecost).
Lest you think that odd that He is protective of the unity and love in a body, think of it like this - if you have small children in the house you protect their innocence by keeping out talk of adult subjects - you judge what is being said and who you let into your children's lives in order to protect their innocence. Same thing. That is one reason He stopped Saul of Tarsus when He did - right before Saul expanded his persecution outward to other nations, as Saul was outside Damascus. He was protecting the body by not allowing the persecution to yet expand, asking Saul, 'Why are you persecuting me?', taking it personally.
"Don't think it strange concerning the fiery trial that has come upon you, to test you, as though this is something new and strange. But rejoice in that you are now partakers of Christ's suffering, that when His glory is revealed you will also be glad with exceeding joy. Now if any are persecuted for the name of Christ, happy are you...but not let it be because you are a murderer or thief, or evil doers or a busy body involving yourselves in other's matters."
"Yet if any suffer just because you are a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God. For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God; if it begins with us, what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:12-17
In the time of Peter writing this the Romans had not yet started State mandated persecution of Christians though there were pockets of persecution (even to death) around the Empire. Most of it was cultural persecution in the form of slander and harmful talk* and lying rumors about Christians. As Christianity spread to all levels of society, so too did society's opinions start to turn against them. The summary of I Peter is that Peter advised obeying the authorities and living upright and honest lives as a means of avoiding persecution. That is the context of judgment begins at the house of God - judge yourself by living upright, godly, and lawful lives. *I Peter 2:11-15, 3:13-18, 4:12-19
When Rome burned starting July 19, the year 64, Nero turned the Empire against Christians, blaming them and taking slander and propaganda about them to a whole new level. They said Christian 'love feasts' were orgies, that Christians were cannibals because they ate the flesh and drank the blood of Jesus, among other lies. They were called hateful and dishonest and were often shunned.
As Rome suffered economically, the blame fell on Christians. That is what we will see increasing in the west. The Lord reminded me of things the Father had said to me, tying them together, and I'll list a few here: "The collapse will come when conservatives are in charge." "Conservatives, Christians and Jews will be blamed for economic and other problems..." and as I was reflecting in 2015 on His statement in 2005 that in 10 years I wouldn't recognize the country, in 2015 He said, "I say to you again, you won't recognize it again in 5 years."
In the US we will see cultural persecution at a new level in the next couple of years. Focus on living right, and investing in relationships with those on the same spiritual page - and if you can't find anyone on your page, turn the page of your heart and get with it. Like He told me during my February 4, 2001: "As it was in the beginning so it must be now; I'm moving in relationships."
There is so much more, but for today; If we judge ourselves and focus on what is real and those relationships in Christ now, it will be much easier for us in the next few years to come. The ones who will be hurt are those who love the world while thinking they are people of faith: Those who equated wealth with godliness, knowledge with maturity, and appearances as something real and solid.
THIS is what the Lord talked to me about, that the last 10 years or so He has allowed many in the body of Christ to act like children running to and fro chasing various teachings and the latest and greatest, but now is the time to grow up. He is being proactive with us by asking us to judge ourselves, in the hopes of sparing many unnecessary difficulty in years to come. Now is the time to focus, to grow, to get to the core of what you believe. Pursue Him and center on your core, for difficult times are ahead for the world. Whew, new subject next week...aren't you glad? lol
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