Robert Wurtz II
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 NKJV)
There have always been deceptions coming along to lure the saints away from our primary focus. For the Church in the first century, it was legalistic Judaism and dualistic Gnosticism; in the western world, it seems to be shallow decisionism and radical denominationalism. Anything that disconnects the churches of God from the Head of the Body (Jesus Christ) is usurping Christ’s preeminence. No amount of explanations or excuses can change this fact.
Removing The Finger
It should be superfluous for me to say that decisions made in the Body of Christ must originate in the Head, Christ Jesus. Nevertheless, many churches have undergone a similar transformation of what the Jews suffered under the Rabbis. Soon after the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, a radical group of Pharisees created a religion that had almost no continuity with the Judaism prior to that time; we know it as Rabbinic Judaism. The goal of the religion was to usurp God’s authority by granting the Rabbi’s authority to snuff-out the prophetic voice of God. To use Rabbinic Judaism scholar Daniel Gruber’s characterization; the radical Pharisees turned rabbis had broken-off the Finger of God.
By the time they were finished, a Rabbi could overrule a Prophet, an audible voice from Heaven (Bath-kol), and had authority to interpret all dreams. They effectively eliminated God from their religion. They would not admit as much, but that is what it boiled down to. The Rabbis have the Law of Moses and assumed the authority to interpret it. In fact, they believe they can over-rule God Himself.
Removing The Head
Many Evangelicals do the exact same thing, but are more subtle about it. Like the Rabbis, Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) has replaced the voice of God. This ought not so to be. Good hermeneutics has always been an essential part of biblical instruction and revelation, but this did not negate the prophetic voice of God. In fact, the two were always complementary. The written word of God has always been the standard against which prophetic revelation was judged. Unfortunately, as with the Rabbis, many would rather stifle God’s voice than hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. This is a very serious problem of mortal consequence. It is all just another way of not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
Pathetic or Prophetic?
Another group came along in the 20th century who claimed to believe in the prophetic voice of God, but corrupted it to the point that many can no longer take it seriously. Wolves dressed in sheep clothing used “prophetic words” to gain everything from filthy lucre and sexual encounters — to popularity and political clout. This is not far from the Corinthians who were calling Jesus accursed in their so-called operations of the Spirit. These abuses became so profound that many people distrust anything remotely labled as “prophetic.” Exaserbating the problem was the diabolic teaching “touch not the Lord’s anointed” and the stage was set to sever the Head from the Body under the pretense of speaking for God. So-called prophets riding in private jets and limousines to conferences. The time would fail to go into all the disgusting things that have gone on in the name of prophetic. Nevertheless, the solution for abuse was never non-use, it was right use.
Seven or Severed?
All too often the connection between the Head (Christ Jesus) and His Body (the churches of God) is severed, and there is no real communication at all. This is catastrophic. We are told seven times in the Revelation to, “…hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.” Paul wept and wept in Acts 20:32 because he knew men would come in to sever the Body from the Head (Christ Jesus). This is what has happened in modern times. Many have commended themselves to men, systems, programs, organizations… anything but the Head. We are to commend ourselves to God and not to men; to the Word of His grace and not to the strategies of man. This is what Paul did with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:32 — he commended them to God. The word commend is the same as is used by Jesus when he stated, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” We must as individuals and as the churches of God set ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to deal with us in a real way.
Hearing From the Head
We must hear from the Head if we are to function as a Body. This requires that we come together in a Spiritual frame — not to strategize, but to wait upon the Lord until we ascertain what is the mind of the Spirit. God is not an absentee landlord. He is walking in the midst of the lamp stands (churches). He is watching and He is listening. He sees all and knows all. We ought to tremble to think we could operate independent of Christ’s absolute Divine direction. In Acts 15 the saints came together until they could say with conviction, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” If a modern democratic denominational approach would have been taken in Acts 15, the gates of Hell would have prevailed against the Church. Those Godly men came together and talked through the issue under the superintendence and guidance of the Holy Spirit — until there was unanimity. Then they declared, “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements” (Acts 15:28 ESV)
The Only Hope
We need to hear from God in this crisis hour. The only hope for this present evil world; the only hope for the churches; the only hope for the Christian is to ascertain the mind of God. We must hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. Then, and only then, will we begin to see the Church turn the world upside down. God is calling us to lay down, as it were, the books of Babylon and the plans for a Tower, and pick-up prophetically the God breathed book — with absolute conviction that it contains the Blueprint for this desperate hour. We cannot continue on our own orders — we need to hear from our Heavenly Head Quarters. There is no other hope.