How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back. Frodo Baggins; The Return of the King.
There is a lot of wisdom in what Tolkien wrote and I have thought of this comment many times over the last few years. It rings like a voice on the wind in the corners of my mind as I reflect on the fifteen year road I have taken that has brought me to this place.
Fifteen years ago my wife and I were raising dairy goats, had a garden around two acres in size. We got our years firewood from the forest and had a small prophetic ministry that later became a church. At that time, due to the spiritual climate of the area we lived. The Lord led me to join MorningStar’s Fellowship of Ministries. I joined the organization with mixed emotions after the Lord gave me a dream displaying the disintegration of Rick and his ministry. I asked “why should I join this?” The response I got back was because, “I needed to learn from this.”
After this, it was an adventure with many very good points to it. I used the information and teachings provided in every way I could think of and we saw much fruit from it. As a result, some people I know were changed forever. So I put that old dream away and never really thought about it again.
But…fast forward fifteen years. We had long sense moved to South Carolina and both of us came on staff at the ministry. As a result our eyes started seeing things that became unsettling.
My wife and I really are very blessed with the things we have learned while being employed at the ministry. The list of those good things if counted would be large, I can not over state that. Basically we are changed, more confident more assure of our direction. We know who we are and who we are not, that’s something you can not put a price on.
However in the last year we have become super aware of things around us. Things that disturb us to the core that should not be found in any ministry. Once Rick started publishing his Bible commentary series and in so doing, started altering scriptures by deleting verses from the Bible to fit his own theology. He then opened the door to a profound level of deception to start entering into the ministry. As a result the Lords own words from the end of the book of Revelation are now coming to pass. As Rick publishes more of his own altered commentaries the Lord has been reducing his ministry to a shadow of it’s former self.
So now what? Well we move on. God has positioned people in this Church of Sardis like ministry for there correction and rebuke that is so badly needed. People that I know that the leadership does not want to hear from. This is needed because if MorningStar does not wake up, then the unfailing fire of the Father will fulfill the promise given to Sardis and He “…will come to like a thief, and you will not know at what time I come to you.”
And all though the Lord from time to time may have me play a role in things, for the most part I feel my role in this story is done.
Now some I have met at this point would scream and yell. Wave some flags and proclaim every crazy thing they can think of out of the popcorn popper of their mind to the Heavens in an effort say that these things are not correct. But as one of the many who lived it, I can easily say it true.
Did any part of this escape the Lords sight, was he surprised what we found? No, He was not. In fact He still wanted me to walk this road.
Some things in life break you for the worse and some for the better. The only problem is during that moment, it all feels bad. It’s only via the prospective of time we see the value.
As an example, when I led my own ministry years ago I said and did certain things in my lack of experience and immaturity that I have now seen the long term fruit of. I can tell you, that is not a road I ever want to walk down again.
All these things have caused me to sit, reflect and ponder and I now realize the Body of Christ in a larger context has a lot of issues. It is in fact in desperate need of new wave of restoration. The old things can not contain the new ways and I fully believe that many “foolish” people with a heart towards Holiness, honesty and personal integrity will need to rise up in this late hour.
I was given some of the characteristics of this new wave in a Vision and it seems to me much of the modern prophetic leadership will not be a head of this new movement.
So lets talk about the church. (In the broader spectrum)
Every particular part of the Christian body has it’s strengths and weakness. No one denomination or movement carries the full expression of Christianity at its best. That just the way it is, get over it. More over I suspect its part of the Lords plan to not only display His diversity but also confound the wise of the world.
Now I am not an expert of all the groups, so I can not speak for them all. But for the purpose of this article I am going to pick on a few for your benefit.
Charismatic/Pentecostalism VS Baptist/Methodist/Lutheran
In GENERAL and not in every church you will find certain consistent issues. Charismatic/Pentecostalism often in to push towards “higher things” sometimes ignore the smaller. The smaller being the poor. Things like feeding the poor and caring for there needs are overlooked in the tunnel vision of seeking the spiritual realm and healing the sick.
On the flip side Baptist/Methodist/Lutheran groups sometime (not always) excel at the poor but treat the Gifts of God like aliens from someplace beyond Pluto. I have seen many preachers work hard on a Sunday morning message avoiding all the scriptures that clearly display the gifts of the spirit and there value for todays church.
So what’s worse, refusing the free gifts of God or ignoring the Fathers heart to the poor?
Independent VS Denominations
Independent plows new ground, opens doors that denominations often do not. In some ways it’s like the Apostle Paul out on his own, plowing and planting new ground that no one else has touched.
Denominations are a bit like Peter the Apostle, sent to the Jews, dealing with older church structures.
Independent sometimes lack experienced leaders and run the risk of heresy if it does not link up to older and wiser groups. However transformation and larger amounts of conversions take place more often within independent church systems.
Denominations have consistency in all forms. This can be a blessing or a curse. Heresy develops less slowly and can be removed quickly. However if it become fully rooted, removing it can become almost impossible. Denominations often play everything to the safe side, there by eliminating risk of crazy faith that often brings bigger victories.
Within denominations if a church pastor or leadership gets off course then there is always a structure above them to deal them or remove them. This however is a weakness within the Independent churches. If problems develops in the senior pastor of an Independent ( Alcoholism for example) and the people have done all the Biblical stuff they could and been rebuked. Then the only recourse often left is to take it to the Body of Christ in a larger context. With the hopes the Lord will respond to the prayers of the many and deal with the wayward Pastor or church.
Simple VS Organized
I bet I just caught someone off guard with this designation.
One of the best quotes that always come to mind on this subject is from the Lord of the Rings movies. “It is no small thing to live a simple life.” Bilbo Baggins.
Many groups that live agrarian lives like Monastic, Amish, Mennonite, Hedorite have built in to there lives times of reflection, pondering and silence around scripture. They may go out to work, but in silence allow a word, phrase or concept to “rest” on there soul all day. As a result many deep thinkers arise within the communities, full of wisdom.
Highly organized groups generally keep the people and the volunteers moving like an Army. They take much ground for the Kingdom with zeal and often with strong ethics in volunteerism. However very few wells of deep wisdom are developed in such places.
As a result deep wisdom is often traded in at the feet of Kingdom work. On the flip side however Kingdom advancement is often reduced to crawl by the hidden Solomons who seek the safety of hiddeness.
Now please notice that when I said I had a Vision of what some of these upcoming people of the new wave will be like I did not give you a laundry list of things for you to conform to. I am learning not to do this, instead I would rather give you (like I did) points to consider, ponder and make your own decisions about.
For in these days I am finding very few true Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and Apostles according to the biblical description. Maybe its time for the blessings of hiddeness, so that the young Solomons can become the Pauls of the future?
June 27, 2018, RA Foster