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Solomon states in the book of Ecclesiastes,

That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”

 Ecclesiastes 1:15

My heart towards all those who read this essay is that they may be edified and built up in their faith.  Coming into restored truth is not easy due to the social and financial costs involved if you accept progressive revelation.  Many people find that the persecutions they face from their current church leadership and Christian friends are hotter than they ever thought possible.  So, as one who has lived through such fires and has come out the other end all the better, I want to offer you some advice born of experience.

There was a crooked man who lived in a crooked house

Every church is built upon some sort of theological foundation.  Unfortunately, the foundation stones of many churches in our age are crooked and therefore the structures built upon them are shaky at best.  Moreover, the people who benefit from these structures that have been built upon such faulty foundations fiercely defend them because they derive personal benefit.  The leadership of such churches gain financial reward and also personal power and prestige from maintaining the status quo.

Unfortunately, no matter how much pastors and teachers of a church may say they want the truth, many do not.  In reality, many clergy only accept new truth in so far at it does not threaten their economic position and personal reputation.  I am talking in a general sense, of course, for there are some who truly desire the favor of God more than the favor of men and do what is right regardless of the cost.

Restored truth always threatens crooked foundations

When God restores a truth, such as salvation by faith, baptism by immersion, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, the religious establishment usually reacts with persecution.  Restored truth threatens the portions of the false foundation upon which the power and livelihood of the leadership is based. These leaders who hold power in churches built upon faulty foundations correctly realize that if the theology upon which their power rests is replaced by a correctly laid foundation they will suffer loss.

Here is a truth,

“A church structure built upon a foundation of error cannot stand upon a foundation of restored truth.”

The church is built upon a crooked foundation.  Therefore, before you build straight, the crooked foundation must be removed.  However, people don’t like you to change their foundational beliefs, no matter how messed up they are.  Therefore, many well-meaning pastors, elders, and teachers fight like hell to protect their crooked dogmas.

Paul says,

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

2 Corinthians 6:17

Historically, our Father commanded the Children of Israel to come out of Egypt and journey into a promised land.  God did not allow the sons and daughters of Israel to stay in Egypt and try to reform the system.  In fact, when Israel came to the Promised Land they were instructed to either kill or drive out all the other nations before them so that they would not be snared by idol worship.  God wanted them to be separated from the world and its false systems of worship so that they would be free to listen only to Him.

Breaking away from a crooked foundation

Breaking out from false foundations is the norm of the Christian experience as illustrated by God’s people having to leave Egypt in order to worship Him correctly. Likewise, our spiritual journey out of Egypt is continuing today as we come out from among churches that teach and hold false doctrine.  Those who come into new truth should not stay within a crooked system thinking they will change it for the better because that is almost never successful. Sometimes it is necessary to pull down the image of Baal and cut down the groves of Ashtoreth in order to re-establish true worship.  Even Paul, arguably the greatest apostle of the New Testament, finally got fed up with the stiff-necked attitude of the Jews and said,

“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles

 Acts 13:46

Here is a truth:

“Unless God says to stay in a church that does not accept the restored truth He reveals, leave.  Trying to change that which is crooked is to your spiritual detriment.  The children of Israel could not change Egypt, they had to leave it to serve God.”

Recently, I met a couple that came into a restored truth.  They were a very godly couple, full of integrity, and were seeking the will of God for their lives with much prayer.  They belonged to an established church and were part of the leadership structure.  God showed this couple a restored truth which they embraced wholeheartedly.  Though I saw faith in their actions, I knew their clergy would reject them.

The people who build crooked foundations

However, when this couple started to speak about this restored truth people around them panicked and went straight to the senior pastor.  To the surprise and dismay of this couple, the leadership of the church would not even consider what they said.  This shocked the couple so much they buckled and gave up on what God said to them.

I sympathize with that type of intense pressure, but I truly believe people who undergo such things are damaged spiritually.  In effect, because they faced shunning, they denied the leading of the Holy Spirit.   These believers denied Christ by saying they did not hear correctly in the first place.  They came face to face with the spirit of Antichrist and withered under its fierce persecution.  I sincerely hope that, after the shock wears off, they will come to their spiritual senses and confront those who caused them to deny the Holy Spirit, saying “we must obey God rather than man”.  Unless they stand up for what they know to be true, they will progress no further.

Refusing to enter the promised land

In essence, by denying the Holy Spirit, they chose the acceptance of this present world over God’s favor. Remember, when the Israelites refused to enter into the Promised Land, they bleached their bones in the wilderness.

The leadership of the church reacted to this couple’s leading towards this restored truth with predictable harshness.  Their church is large and wealthy and those in leadership command much respect and prestige among the congregation and in the surrounding community.  Setting this particular foundation stone right, however true it might be, threatens all that they have built.  Therefore, even if God Himself spoke (which He did through His two servants) they would have called it of Beelzebub.

The crooked spirit of Antichrist is in many churches today

Truly, the spirit of Antichrist inhabits the church today.  We respect the Father and we honor the Son but resist His Holy Spirit; therefore, we don’t do the will of our Father.   Churches claim to want God and be open to His Spirit, but this is often just posturing.  Many times, the clergy reject Jesus by rejecting the servants He sends.  God’s servants come and they persecute them just like the Pharisees and Sadducees rejected the prophets of old.  You cannot divide God up; He is one.  If you reject one part of God then you reject all of God.  We say we honor our Father of the Old Testament. We say we obey Jesus who sits in heaven at God’s right hand.  However, all too often we reject and persecute the Holy Spirit who presently dwells with us and in us.

Jesus warns,

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.”

John 16:1-3

Unfortunately, the truth is this:

 “While the church likes what Jesus does they do not like who Jesus is.”

Jesus in us comes to the church and the church rejects both, casting us out for His name’s sake. All who seek to challenge the status quo in our churches will face persecution.  Coming out of our churches is the spiritual consequence of following Jesus into restored truth.  It is very difficult for people to realize that following Jesus may mean leaving your present church.  However, know that Jesus does not usually close a door without opening a window of opportunity in your life.  The Israelites left leeks and garlic only to find a land flowing with milk and honey.

Fight for  your spirituality in Jesus

Lastly, fight for your spirituality in Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit shows you a truth, don’t let others ever take it away from you.  People often hedge their bets by saying that they were not one hundred percent sure that God was leading them.  This is a trap of the devil; ninety-eight percent sure is good enough; God will correct any errors in you as you continue to walk by faith. Learn to trust God, not demanding one hundred percent surety from Him, else, where would faith enter in?

The Good Fight by Unspoken