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People are leading ministries and churches all while the Bible instructs us not to even eat with them. It's time for a housecleaning.

Facebook is a great, if unscientific, medium for discussions about culture and Scripture (and kittens, food, vacations and so forth). I've participated in many such discussions online, and I constantly find myself shaking my head when supposedly solid, Spirit-filled Christians flat out reject clear, simple truths found in the Bible. We have declined into a church that all too often employs human reasoning in favor of biblical principles.

As an example, when is the last time you heard a pastor teach on the issue of divorce? At best they may suggest it's negative and painful while fully ignoring what God himself has to say about it.

Right in the middle of Luke 16, we see the following:

Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced by her husband commits adultery (Luke 16:18).

We have a bunch of people in our churches today who are living in adultery because they divorced and remarried without validation. We need a mass movement of repentance for wrongful divorce and remarriage. After getting remarried, there can be redemption and forgiveness, but that is a process that must be completed. Divorce rates in the church should be near zero. I say "near zero" because there are legitimate and approved reasons to initiate a divorce. There are times when it's fully appropriate to get remarried as well. God is in the restoration business, but we must submit to his process and follow his protocol.

The point on divorce was simply one example as I begin this article on discipline in the church. We have to agree that Scripture rules. We must stop minimizing it, modifying it, ignoring it or rewriting it.

Before you attempt to crucify me for being cruel and unfeeling regarding divorce or the other issues I'll address in this article, I want to challenge you. First, my heart is broken over sin in the camp. Second, why do you presume you have the right to dismiss clear directives in Scripture? You don't. Neither do I. I believe it's an act of love and humility to trust God's wisdom as we deal directly with sin in the church. God has given us a measure of stewardship over his holy church, and we are failing, especially in regard to holiness.

It's Time to Clean House

Take a moment and let the following verse sink in:

I wrote to you in my letter not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or the covetous and extortioners, or the idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But I have written to you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Do not even eat with such a person.

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But God judges those who are outside. Therefore "put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1 Cor. 5:9-13).

Sin in the camp is defiling the house.

The above passage reveals that God judges the unsaved, the lost, those in the world. It also reveals that we have been mandated to judge those within the church. This, friend, rarely happens and that is a key reason revival is not near.

Please remember, we don't have the right to exercise mercy that's not endorsed by the Word of God. We don't have the freedom to let someone off the hook when God demands we deal with their situation.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch.

One immoral person in a church can compromise the entire congregation.

Love Them Out the Door

It's time to express love, with tears in our eyes, by inviting people to leave our churches. Multiplied thousands of professing Christians must be shown the door—and fast.

If they profess Christ and are guilty of sin, we cannot even eat with them. This is severe, and it is necessary. It's also literal.

Are there any people attending church today who are greedy? We can't go grab coffee with them. Is anybody involved in porn? Do they get intoxicated? Do they have idols in their lives? Are they abusive? We must deal directly with them for the sake of their souls and those of everybody in the church! Why? Check out a verse that's strangely similar to what we read in 1 Corinthians 5 (it takes it to a whole other level):

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

While so many are welcoming these offenders into church services and functions every week, God has determined they will not be welcomed into heaven. We are celebrating the people God is rejecting. We are confirming those God is calling out.

Allow me to make this point very clear: If anyone who names the name of Christ is guilty of these sins, they must immediately repent while bearing fruit or they must be removed from fellowship. Period.

Yes, most youth groups will be wiped out. Elders in the church will have to go. Many pastors will have to relinquish their positions. Churches will decline significantly in number as they lose those guilty of sin and their sympathizers!

What will be left? A holy, remnant church that can finally move in power, unity and purity.

Turn Them Over to Satan

Sexual sin is especially destructive. If anybody tells you all sin is the same, don't believe them. It's not true. For example, one type of sin cannot be forgiven. Other sins are not unto death. Sexual sin is one that demands a more severe response. Again, the response is rooted in love, not revenge. It's to protect the church and to awaken the offender.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that a man has his father's wife.But you are arrogant. Instead you should have mourned, so that he who has done this deed might be removed from among you. For indeed, though absent in body but present in spirit, I have already, as if I were present, judged him who has done this deed,in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are assembled, along with my spirit, in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus.

 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch? Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:1-7).

The world has the right to accuse Christians of hypocrisy. When sin happens, it's swept under the rug. It's ignored. It's certainly not dealt with. It's rarely judged.

The instruction is clear and cannot be modified. The one who is guilty must be turned over to Satan. They must be excommunicated. They are a danger to themselves and to the church.

Restoration

The purpose of discipline is twofold:

  1. The restoration of the person: God, in his wisdom, knows just what it will take to give people the greatest chance of restoration. Biblical discipline is a part of that process.
  2. The protection of the body: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. We must insist on a holy church for the sake of the innocent and unsuspecting: 

Deliver [this man] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5).

For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom he receives (Heb. 12:6).

For they indeed disciplined us for a short time according to their own judgment, but He does so for our profit, that we may partake of His holiness (Heb. 12:10).

When restoration works, the Bible tells us that we will win our brother. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out the way we'd prefer, but it's imperative that we try as Scripture demands:

Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established.If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matt. 18:15-17).

Keep in mind that severe church discipline must follow earlier attempts at restoration.

Now we exhort you, brothers, warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint-hearted, support the weak, and be patient toward everyone (1 Thess. 5:14).

The first step isn't removing them from fellowship. It's calling them higher, exhorting them to live righteously and patiently yet invasively, uncomfortably, demand they respond to the correction of the Lord. Walk the walk with them until their rebellion or repeated failures would cause you to violate the Word to maintain fellowship with them. That time comes sooner than we typically presume.

God Demands That His Church Be Holy

John L. Dagg said this: "When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it."

Ichabod is posted above the doorposts as the presence of God vacates a once holy church that's inundated with immorality.

The question is simple: Do you want God to remain, or the unrepentant offender? You can't have both.

 

Pasted from <https://charismamag.

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    • Prophets of God, Stand Up, and Don't Give in to the Spirit of Intimidation

      Yesterday as I sat with the Lord, I heard Him say, "Sound the alarm! A spirit of intimidation is coming against many of My prophets right now. Tell them to continue to stand and not give ear to this spirit of intimidation, but to be encouraged and know that they are now moving into a new land of inheritance."

      The Lord keeps speaking to me about how there is a battle over the prophets right now to "muzzle" them and "silence" in many different ways, but I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying "Now is the time to get up on your feet and speak!"

      For this spirit of intimidation is coming to cause you to cower, to cause you to shrink back and to cause you to bow beneath its taunts and lies. But stand strong, prophets of God; hold the stones of the Word of God in your hand and continue to hurl them in faith.

      This spirit of intimidation and fear is raising itself up like a Goliath because there is a crossing over taking place right now where you are moving into a new land of inheritance. I heard the Spirit of God whispering "So many things are about to change. So many things are about to change." and all around me, I could see the "landscape" changing.

      There is shifting, a positioning and transition that is taking place over many prophets right now. The Lord is leading you into new places, new opportunities, new realms and new places to decree the Word of the Lord, and the enemy knows how the glory of God is going to be displayed as He moves powerfully through you, so he is attempting to cause you to run into the caves like Elijah.

      Do not run. Do not withdraw. Stand! Stand! Stand! For I see the Lord has assigned more angelic hosts with you than ever before. The enemy is whispering his lies of danger and harm, but the Lord is decreeing His protection over you. You are overshadowed by Him as you make Him, the Most High, your dwelling place.

      The Lord showed me that Psalm 91 is very key for the body of Christ right now, but especially the prophets. This spirit of fear and intimidation is doing all it can with its lies and foreboding to see you move from a place of rest and confidence in the Lord to a place of anxiety and fear to hinder your intimacy, cloud your vision and steal your clarity. No more!

      In this vision, as I saw the landscape change, I saw Jesus standing in the midst of this new landscape with a huge smile on His face, and He looked at the prophets of His heart and spoke: "You shall know My peace, My rest and My empowerment like a tidal wave in this new land of inheritance. For what I am calling you to and positioning you into is bigger than you have imagined and the spirit of intimidation would seek to cause you to withdraw, but I say unto you that greater shall the demonstration of My power be through you. Greater shall the demonstration of My goodness, My kindness and the power of My spoken Word. This spirit of intimidation would seek to keep you hidden, where this is the time where I am positioning you to shine and reflect Me brighter than ever before."

      Embracing the Fire; Releasing My Power

      The Lord showed me that many prophets have been in intense fire, and it is not something to think of as strange. For there have been fires of opposition, but there have also been fires of purification that the Lord is releasing to prepare you for the new land of inheritance that He has for you. It's a new land of destiny and a new land of partnering with Him and all that is yours in Christ.

      The fire has been hot, but in the embracing of the fire of the Lord, there is a deep maturing, preparation and strengthening that is taking place within you. The Lord's heart is for you to flourish in this new land, and the Lord has been working deeply in the hearts and souls of His prophets in this season to bring to the surface things that would hinder and hold you back. The Lord has been inviting the prophets to embrace the fire and allow the Spirit of God to do whatever He needs to do to prepare you for this new land of inheritance. Embrace His fire to purify and prepare you.

      The fires of opposition have been turned up seven times stronger, but the Lord is encouraging you to look not at the fires of opposition, but to look at Him. In the fire of opposition, He is strengthening you and deepening your trust in Him and His protection and what He speaks, so you are unaffected by the wind, waves and large flames that surround you. I continue to hear the Spirit of God decreeing over and over "You will not be harmed. You will not be touched. Stay close to Me and abide in My Word, for the lies of the enemy are poisonous darts sent to attempt to extinguish your faith, hinder your movement and bring confusion upon you. You will not withdraw, you will move forward in greater boldness because of the empowerment of My Spirit."

      "At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness" (Acts 4:31, TPT).

      The Lord showed me that in this new era we have entered as the body of Christ, the prophets of God are going to begin moving in the power of the Spirit like Elijah and Elisha. There is going to be a significant increase of the power of God displayed through the prophets and the spoken word of the Lord through them, the decree of God to release creative miracles, bringing sudden shifts, alignments and breakthroughs. This is why the spirit of intimidation is attempting to silence you.

      I kept hearing the Lord say "My prophets are going to move in greater resurrection power! There will be powerful demonstrations of My resurrection power through My prophets in this season. Dry bones, bodies, dry and dead places suddenly coming to life by My resurrection power that is released through the decree that will flow out of the mouths of My prophets. In this new era, I am increasing the display and demonstration of My resurrection power especially through the prophets, and this is why the spirit of intimidation has come to attempt to silence My prophets and cause them to withdraw and go into hiding in fear, so they do not move further into this place of carrying My resurrection power like never before.

      "But I decree today, that this spirit of intimidation will flee as the power of My Spirit comes now upon My prophets and brings a shaking and shakes off the fear, the lies of death, the foreboding, the darkness and infuses them with strength and boldness."

      "Prophets of My heart, in this new land of inheritance, awaits you a new level of boldness and faith in the power of My spoken Word, My protection and My fire. Arise! Arise! Arise and do not fear. For I am with you, I go with you and I go before you. Shake off the fear by the decree of My Word and know that the land of inheritance awaiting you is filled with greater joy in partnering with Me to see My glory and kingdom displayed. There has been great pressing, but my prophets, you will now carry new wine and power in Me."

      It's time. It's time for you to arise. Stand! Stand! Stand! For a new land of inheritance awaits you, and you will be left in awe and wonder of the signs, wonders, miracles and major displays of My power that will manifest at the 

      "My prophets I am inviting you in the library of heaven to read and see the new blueprint decrees of My heart over cities and nations in this new era. For I will show you with greater accuracy and clarity the decrees of My heart over cities and nations that will set them alight with the fire of My love and see My glory and power displayed. For I decree as you seek My heart, seeking not your own agenda or name in lights, but truly seek to know My heart, I am now releasing greater secrets of blueprint decrees of wisdom and revelation for cities and nations to bring major transformation by the power of My Spirit. For I am moving those who are seeking My heart, My prophets who are in the secret place to hear My heart into greater increase and manifestation of their governmental authority. The enemy is fighting this, but he will not prevail. For I decree that you, My prophets will decree the blueprint decrees over cities and nations that will suddenly expose the works of darkness and bring significant breakthrough, shifts and demonstrations of My truth and glory that will bring monumental shifts. It's time!"

      "You are not defeated, My prophets, you are victorious in Me, and you will see my manifested victory in and through your lives like never before. Don't give in to this spirit of intimidation, it's come to steal, but before you is not the lies that this spirit speaks, but life, increase and a major increase of seeing My power moving through you as you decree My Word. Stand!

       

      Culled : Charisma Magazine

      Lana Vawser
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