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August 28, 2017

For the past weekend I have been glued to the computer watching the terrible devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas. As I watched everything unfold I noticed a curious discrepancy between the governor of Texas and the mayor of Houston. The governor was calling for Houston to be evacuated while the mayor told the residents to stay in place. Despite the overwhelming projections that unprecedented flooding in Houston would occur, and is occurring, the mayor told people to stay put. In many respects organized religion has done the same thing. Church leaders are telling their people all will be well while God has been warning of great devastation that is coming. God is calling and saying, “come out of her, My people.

Sadly, there are many trapped in Houston unable to get basic necessities of life and now need to be rescued. We can relate to their plight and our hearts break for those that are in that difficult situation. The problem is that these rescues would not have been necessary had the mayor told his people to leave beforehand. Too often leaders fail us because they do not recognize or listen to the warnings that are given and if they do hear they do not relay such messages to the people. In their pride and self-interest, they fail to care for the needs of those they are supposedly leading. Organized religion is full of such people that serve only for wages and care little about anything but their own kingdom. Time and again they tell their followers what they want to hear instead of the truth. The truth is that God has been communicating loud and clear to those that will listen. Through Scripture, His prophets, and people like us who have left everything to follow Him, God is calling the Body of Christ to “come out of her My people.

A number of years ago Wanda and I attended a big box church in Sherwood Park. You know the kind of church where everyone is hip, young and cool? Their latest fad advertised they had a ‘rich family blend’ as if faith had to be advertised to the masses like some unregulated, addictive, psychotropic drug. These leaders were trying to ‘grow’ their little empire by being like the world and everything in it. Needless to say God was not leading them in this direction. In the time Wanda and I were there God spoke to me about the condition of the church and told me that He was not going to reform the church. What God explained to me was that those that wanted the world would continue towards it but He would take His people from the ‘church’ and draw them to Himself.

It was at this time that He introduced me to the Scripture “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues;” in Revelation 18:4. At first I did not understand what God was saying but as I matured He showed me that He was taking His Bride away from what calls itself the ‘church’. From there He would woo and win her in the wilderness. He would show her His faithfulness in the desolate places so she would begin to call Him, Beloved. To start this journey, however, the would-be Bride needs to “come out of her,” to come out from underneath organized religion. You see it is a choice. You can stay in organized religion and have your faith destroyed by the ‘self’ nature of the leaders and those that attend or you can voluntarily separate and follow God as He leads you into the wilderness.

When we first left organized religion and started out on our journey of faith we were given the standard fair of “Let us not stay away from church meetings. Some people are doing this all the time.” (Hebrews 10:25 NIV) This Scripture was used as a weapon against us to force us back into the corporate line where we would be dutifully raped of our resources to keep the behemoth of religion fed so it could make more acolytes to its godless dogma. Needless to say we ignored the threats as we wanted more of God and it was clear the ‘church’ we attended wanted little to do with Him. Wanda and I had some good friends in Sherwood Park called ‘Gloria’ and ‘Theo’. Sometime after we left we encouraged our friends to try the freedom of pursuing God on their own. The hooks of religion were too deeply embedded into them however and they rejected the opportunity God was giving them to choose freedom. I was puzzled by this for a long time but slowly God began to explain to me why it was so important to leave and why our friends chose to stay in the evil system of organized religion.

When God warns His people to leave ‘her’ He is talking about the system of man we call organized religion. Religion bellows out to the world that it knows the path to God but it is a counterfeit. It does NOT know God. How do I know this? Simple. Look at what the leaders are teaching and preaching and then look at the people who listen to them. Do the leaders in religion preach the eternal cross, giving up ALL to follow Him, growth in Christlikeness, spiritual maturity and denial of ‘self’? Do the people that listen and follow them think, act and live more like Jesus every day with spiritual authority, power and miracles that change the world or do they just look like everybody else around them?

You see, in science and business, we look to the bottom line, the end result, to see if what we are doing is a success or not. If people aren’t changing, why? Something is wrong. If I plant a tomato plant and it only produces green leaves I will rip it from the ground and throw it out because it didn’t produce. If a business tries out a new product and it fails they remove it and try something else.

Now tell me, why do we hold organized religion to a different standard? The church should be growing up individuals who learn how to walk in faith, grow into spiritual adulthood and have the same authority Jesus did when He was on earth. In short Christians need to have the same character Jesus has. These people would shake the world in love and power and everyone would see how powerful, wonderful and majestic God the Father really is. So why aren’t there millions of people like this? Simple. Organized religion doesn’t want people to mature because then they would not be able to keep their empire going. Organized religion cares only for itself and has little concern for what God wants. Is there any wonder now why God is calling His own to “come out of her, My people”?

So why do so many stay? Well at the core it comes down to ‘self’. Organized religion was formed to deceive people into thinking that it was the only way to God. It co-opted the moves of God to draw people to Himself and marooned people on an island of ‘self’. Here they thought they could follow God without giving up any of their ‘self’ nature. That Jesus would just gloss over their glaring selfishness and give them everything they wanted simply because He was so magnanimous. It is a costly gamble that many will lose for God will give no quarter to the ‘self’ nature in any person. When God calls a person to follow Him into the wilderness He is calling that person to give up ALL of their ‘self’ to Him. Organized religion will never make such a claim on any person for they know they would immediately lose most, if not all, of their followers. However, in doing so, they condemn themselves to separation from God for eternity. This is why the plea is so poignant from God. If we do not separate from her, organized religion, we will “partner in her sins and receive her plagues.

Before God brings judgement He sends His prophets to warn us about what is to come. In June of 2015 Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj prophesied that Houston would be devastated by a great flood. “It is an instrument used by God,” were his exact words. Sadhu was giving us the word of the Lord that God was about to do something very significant in Houston. As a true leader Sadhu was warning those in Houston that great devastation was coming and now it is here. The mayor could have heeded this warning, along with those from the meteorologists, and issued a mandatory evacuation order. He did not, now people are suffering. The truth is, the warning Sadhu gave was a mercy from God to help people prepare for what was coming. He is still warning us of a far greater danger.

God is warning us about the great devastation that is coming to organized religion as well. It is in His word and in the mouth of His prophets. This devastation will come as surely as it has to Houston. Those that remain in organized religion and indulge of the sins of ‘self’ will reap a reward of destruction. Wanda and I are personally warning you now. Are you listening to the warning? Are you heeding the call? Will you undergo a ‘voluntary evacuation’ from organized religion so that you can find God and be safe in the wilderness? Time is running out. I pray that you will heed the warning. You may lose all but you will find your life in Him. Please “come out of her, My people.”

Our hearts and prayers are with the people in Houston that they will be safe.